I’m dubious — or at least hope it’s not true — but a new report claims that Apple Arcade, Apple’s US$6.99/month game streaming service that has over 200 games, is in trouble.

According to the Mobilegamer.biz site, multiple game makers have. have voiced their concern for Apple Arcade’s future, citing a glut of cancelled projects and ever-declining developer payouts. One developer said there was the “the smell of death” around the service – though others suggested there are now whispers of (another) reboot for the service.

Payouts for titles on Apple Arcade have been falling for years, sources told Mobilegamer.biz, and following a shift in strategy very few original games are being greenlit unless they are attached to a big family-friendly IP.

Apple is often aloof or difficult to work with too – though as one developer noted, “that’s nothing new”. While some described their relationship with Apple as very positive (and lucrative), others told mobilegamer.biz that Apple is “famously vindictive” and “spiteful” in its dealings with developers – especially once the tech giant discovers that you have signed a deal with Netflix’s rival service.

However, not not all of the publication’s sources were critical of the service. “Despite its imperfections, we’re very very happy Arcade exists. It has made premium games viable on mobile,” said one contact. Another studio boss told Mobilegamer.biz that their company would not exist without Apple’s support, though the company is often unpredictable and demanding to work with.

Perhaps Apple could consider an Apple Arcade Pro with higher-end games offered at a higher subscription price. After all, a December 2023 article by Inverse says that Apple has a renewed interest in gaming on the Mac, the likes of which it hasn’t shown in the last 25 years.

In a January 2024 note to clients — as noted by Apple 3.0 (a subscription is required to read the article) — the Oppenheimer investment bank said “Apple management is committing to building Apple hardware as the best HD gaming platform.” 

So, hopefully, Apple has bigger, not smaller, plans for the Apple Arcade.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today