Several months after its reveal, Apple’s gaming subscription service now has a release date. Apple announced the Apple Arcade release date and price point at today’s iPhone event.
Apple announced the service will launch next week, on September 19. The Apple Arcade price point is set at $4.99 per month per family. Apple will offer a one-month free trial for the service, as well. The company revealed a few Apple Arcade-exclusive games, including Konami’s Frogger in Toy Town and Capcom’s Shinseki: Into the Depths. The Annapurna Interactive-published Sayonara Wild Hearts is also headed to the service. Additionally, the iPhone event livestream showcased logos from several other associated developers, publishers, and properties, including LEGO, Bandai Namco, Chucklefish, Sega, and Square Enix.
Apple initially revealed Apple Arcade during a keynote address in March 2019. Similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, the subscription service grants access to more than 100 games across iPhone, Apple TV, Mac, and iPad devices and will support PS4 and Xbox One controllers. Along with announcements of specific games being released on the platform, like the upcoming Shantae and the Seven Sirens, Apple has previously announced partnerships with Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and The Sims and Spore creator Will Wright to produce new games for the platform. Apple is putting quite the investment into the service, reportedly spending more than $500 million to secure Apple Arcade-exclusive games. This could end up being good for mobile developers and gamers, introducing funding for quality games in the saturated mobile market.
Apple Arcade is the latest in a series of gaming subscription services cropping up among prominent publishers, including the aforementioned Xbox Game Pass. So far, Google hasn’t announced a similar subscription plan for the highly visible Google Stadia game streaming service. The company is instead instead charging a regular fee for premium streaming services and allowing customers to purchase individual games to stream.