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Apple’s mobile gaming subscription service Apple Arcade may have brought a lot of high quality titles to mobile gaming, but there’s supposed trouble in paradise.
Revealed through a report by Bloomberg, Apple has reportedly cancelled contracts with Apple Arcade developers if the company believes they won’t generate monthly rolling engagement from subscribers.
An Apple Arcade creative producer reportedly contacted multiple development studios in mid-April to inform them that their in-development titles didn’t have the level of engagement that Apple was looking to publish on their subscription service.
Apple Arcade launched back in December for iOS devices at a price of $4.99 a month or $59.99 a year. However, while the title launched with 120 games and has been steadily adding more every month, the service has had very few standout titles that have been widely talked about.
One title, the absolutely fantastic Sayonara Wild Hearts, did gain a lot of popularity online, but that particular title is already available on other platforms such as Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
Apple has spent tens of millions on getting new titles onto their video game subscription service; the tech company has reportedly spent between $1 million to $5 million on multiple individual games already. However, with subscriber counts being lower than the company predicted, Apple is reportedly switching up their approach.
Developers have been told to create titles more in line with Capybara Games’ Grindstone, a easy to get into puzzle action game that sees consistent content updates.
Cancelled Apple Arcade contracts have reportedly hit multiple developers with financial troubles, especially when combined with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Despite the contract cutting, Apple has agreed to pay developers for development milestones that they’ve hit at the moment of cancellation.
Apple has also told developers that they will work with studios again in the future if their games hit the requirements that the company is looking for.