Apple Could Reportedly Discuss Its Rumored Subscription Gaming Service at Monday Event

Illustration for article titled Apple Could Reportedly Discuss Its Rumored Subscription Gaming Service at Monday Event
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Apple’s highly anticipated Monday event will likely see an unveiling of Apple’s forthcoming TV streaming and subscription news services. But there’s a possibility that Apple may also touch on its rumored subscription game service, Bloomberg reported Saturday.

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The gaming service, reported by Cheddar in January, will reportedly focus on bundling games for its iPhones and iPads and will essentially function as a “Netflix for gaming.” Bloomberg reported that Apple may discuss the service during its Monday event, but said the company could also hold off until June when it will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference. Citing sources familiar with the company’s plans for the service, Bloomberg reported:

The company would collect these monthly fees, then divide up the revenue between developers based on how much time users spend playing their games, one of the people said. Apple is likely considering popular paid titles on the App Store and would exclude titles that are free to download but generate revenue via in-app purchases.

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Apple did not immediately return a request for comment about the report.

Cheddar previously reported that Apple was working on the gaming service, citing five sources who claimed talks with developers began last year. At the time, there was still a question of whether the company was seriously pursuing the product in earnest, as Cheddar reported it was “still in the early stages of development, and Apple could ultimately decide to abandon it.”

But Bloomberg’s report about Apple’s pursuit of paid games for the platform—as opposed to those that pull in cash through in-app offerings—would appear to be one more way that Apple could boost its service offerings. As Cheddar noted, the company’s push for the services comes as Apple is looking to expand its revenue as hardware sales are stalling and amid a surge in streaming and subscription services.

Even if Apple’s rumored gaming service doesn’t see a debut at Monday’s event, there’s still plenty of (largely rumored) possibilities for what Tim Cook has up his sleeve. And as the Verge noted, touching on the game service at its developers’ conference may make a little more sense. Plus, in addition to the news and streaming services, there’s still a chance we’ll see some hardware offerings on Monday as well. But given Apple’s habit of keeping us on our toes, it’s anyone’s guess until tomorrow.

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[Bloomberg]

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DISCUSSION

I really hope this is true.

The bottom line is that software publishers are pushing hard towards payment models that are recurring, whether it be subscription or in-app purchases. Pay-once models are dying, and never really took hold on iOS because they could never charge enough to make a good profit without being more expensive than users will pay.

But in-app purchase models require shitty game mechanics.

So the only other solution is subscription. Users in large numbers will never pay individual app subscriptions, but a universal one through Apple could work.

If we want console-like experiences on iOS, we need something like this.