Opinion 31

Google: if you plan on taking mobile gaming seriously, you need to respond to Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade

Apple has just fired a serious warning shot at Google with the announcement of Apple Arcade. Honestly, the subscription service sounds like an absolute dream.

When the service launches this fall, you’ll be able to download and play hundreds of awesome premium games with a single subscription.

All games will be playable on an iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, will be available offline, accessible to up to six different family members, and won’t feature any ads or IAPs.

Oceanhorn 2 Android
The damage has already been done, as Oceanhorn 2 will no longer launch on Android

Basically, it’s the solution to the horrific predatory free to play garbage that has plagued mobile since the demise of premium games. Apple Arcade is giving these games the chance to compete once again.

Apple Arcade is the solution to the freemium garbage filling up the App Store

While this is an extremely exciting proposition for iOS gamers, it’s extremely bad news for us over on the Android side of things for one reason: Apple Arcade games will be exclusive to Apple Arcade.

A number of high profile future releases have already been announced for the service, including Oceanhorn 2, Where Cards Fall, and Beyond a Steel Sky. That’s right – none of those games will ever come to Android now.

Where Cards Fall is also now lost to iOS

And really, can you blame the developers? Android is so notorious for its piracy that most developers have to come up with an entirely different model just to release a premium game on the platform.

That’s why games that usually have an upfront cost on iOS usually launch for free on Android, with an option to purchase the game after a few levels.

The buck lies with us for our obsession with piracy

So yes, the buck does largely land with us Android gamers for being so against the idea of paying for quality, premium games. It’s that reason exactly that has got us in the mess we’re in right now, with predatory free to play rubbish filling Google Play.

Is this the best Google Play will be able to offer when Apple Arcade arrives?

But ultimately, it’s now on Google to offer a solid alternative. Piracy isn’t anything new, and has already harmed the film, TV, and music industry to the point that those folk had to turn to streaming services.

Google itself is moving towards that space with Google Stadia, but Apple Arcade isn’t a Stadia competitor. You’ll download those games and can play them entirely offline.

So it’s your move, Google. And it better be a good one because it looks like Apple is about to well and truly take over the mobile games market. You’ve been warned.

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