Arcade: Advertised as an extension to Apple’s family entertainment lineup, the Apple Arcade brings exclusive mobile games to all devices barring the Apple watch. Consequently, a key focus of Apple’s 2019 keynote was gaming. While this is somewhat surprising given Apple’s complete detachment from this industry till date, it’s not entirely stupid. Apple's hardware and software, especially on the desktop and laptop platforms, have been largely ignored by the gaming industry. Primary reasons for this exclusion are the lack of powerful hardware like discrete graphics and the absence of a Windows DirectX counterpart for macOS. This latest foray into the gaming industry could signal a new mentality towards gaming on Apple, encouraging the development of better APIs and engines triggering an expansion of the gaming industry into the Apple ecosystem.
So Apple Arcade then… Will it work? That depends on your perspective of gaming. Broadly there are two ways to classify games: those that require a time commitment and those that don’t. An example of the former is Skyrim and the latter Subway Surfers. The games showcased during the 10th September Keynote fall under the second category. This means that the success of Apple Arcade depends on the target audience. The Apple Arcade caters primarily to basic minimalistic games. The potential of developing a community and a dedicated fan base is relatively low.
To put it simply the Apple Arcade is the home for unstimulating basic games. At launch it will not compete with the massive, expansive, diverse markets of Steam, Origin or Blizzard, nor is it intended to. At $4.99 the Apple Arcade is a step I the right direction for the company but needs to mature and diversify both as a service and in content to be taken seriously by both the developers and market leaders.