Apple Arcade’s success brings new annual subscription for $49.99

Apple has launched a new annual subscription for its Apple Arcade premium mobile gaming service. Apple has already confirmed that the $49.99 price is permanent, offering a saving on the $4.99 monthly option.
Apple Arcade subscriptions
Apple Arcade is launching a new annual subscription model which offers gamers savings on monthly deals. Photo: Apple.

App Store rollout

The yearly subscription option has already been rolled out to the Apple App Store, and effectively offers players 12 months for the price of 10. The same price tag applies in the UK and Europe, with the two territories being charged £49.99 and €49.99 – albeit considering the exchange rate both of these prices are actually more expensive than the US figure.

Apple Arcade players in Canada have been offered a particularly good deal, though, being able to sign up for CA$59.99 (approximately $45.55).

The Apple Arcade system, launched back in September, offers mobile gamers the opportunity to play exclusives across several platforms. iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV are all supported, with a save feature meaning that players can switch devices and pick up games where they left off previously.

Apple Arcade subscriptions
Apple Arcade launched with 71 games, but over 100 are available now. Photo: Apple.

Library expansion

Apple has been steadily increasing the amount of titles available on Apple Arcade, with the platform recently passing the 100 game mark. This figure compares favorably with the 71 titles that were made available at launch.

While the annual price plan may be more affordable, it should also be noted that there is no way to cancel once the full $49.99 has been paid. There is no cancellation or refund option, so a commitment must be made for the full 12 months of the service.

Apple Arcade customers can gain access to the new subscription via the Accounts tab in the iOS App Store. This is located in the upper right hand corner of the screen, via the Subscriptions option.

Games included with Apple Arcade feature such familiar names as “Pac-Man,” “Lego” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Apple has attempted to make the service more attractive for players by forbidding developers from charging for in-game items, a practice that is popular in some of the biggest titles available, such as Candy Crush Saga and Fortnite.

Apple Arcade subscriptions
Sonic the Hedgehog titles are among the games available on Apple Arcade. Photo: Apple.

Service emphasis

Apple has shifted its commercial strategy in recent years, as sales of some of its biggest hardware devices have receded. For example, the iPhone may remain an iconic piece of hardware, but it has been overtaken in the market by Android-driven devices manufactured by Samsung and Huawei.

But the new strategy has been a moderate success thus far, with service platforms – such as Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud – having achieved 16% growth over the past year. Apple’s services business is now larger in revenue than any of the company’s other business units, apart from the iPhone itself.

Apple has previously offered discounted prices for annual subscriptions to Apple Music and Apple TV+, and this seems to be a sensible way to attract gamers into the overall Apple ecosystem for an extended period of time.

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