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Everything you need to know about Apple Arcade: launch date, pricing, games and more

Gamers will be able to enjoy Apple’s world first videogame subscription service from Thursday, September 19

Ann Thai, director of product management for the App Store at Apple Inc., speaks about Apple Arcade during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. David Paul Morris / Bloomberg
Ann Thai, director of product management for the App Store at Apple Inc., speaks about Apple Arcade during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

Apple Arcade is set to become the very first videogame subscription service. The tech giant is looking to achieve the fabled ‘Netflix of gaming’ title and on Tuesday, September 10 gave us a taste of what to expect at the recent Apple keynote event in Cupertino, California.

The launch of Apple Arcade shows just how serious Apple is taking the billion-dirham games industry. By getting out ahead of its competition, the technology giant has a chance to scoop up gamers of all ages and lock them in to the lucrative subscription model.

Just like its Apple TV+ service, Apple has enlisted the help of industry stars to come on board and deliver bespoke gaming content that you can’t get anywhere else. So whether you’re a casual gamer or a gaming veteran — you’ll find something for everyone with Apple Arcade.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know about the upcoming gaming subscription service .

When will it be available?

Apple Arcade will launch worldwide on Thursday, September 19. You will be able to access it through the App Store.

How much will it cost?

At launch you will be able to try it for one month for free. After this period, it’s a very reasonable $4.99 (Dh18) per month. One subscription gives a household of up to six devices access to more than 100 games at launch.

As you’ve already paid up front, all the games will be ad-free. So there’s no need to worry about annoying videos or banners popping up as you play.

How does it work?

There will be a new Apple Arcade tab in the App Store. Simply click on it to reveal the catalogue of games and then download what you like to either your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or MacBook.

Games will be available for use offline, which means you don’t have to be connected to the internet to play them on-the-move.

As part of the tvOS, iPadOS and iOS 13 updates that arrives on September 19, you’ll be able to play on your device using a PS4 or Xbox One controller. Simply connect via Bluetooth and you’re good to go.

Who’s making games for Apple Arcade?

Most developers making games for Apple Arcade will be independent studios. However, there will be several recognisable names too.

Konami (Metal Gear series) demoed the family friendly Frogger in Toy Town at the Apple event and Capcom (Street Fighter series) showed off its intriguing underwater adventure Shinsekai: Into the Depths.

Sega, Disney and Lego will also be present on Apple Arcade. Interestingly, Will Wright, who created The Sims but has been on hiatus from the industry for the past decade, is said to be working on a new game for Apple.

Apple also announced that new games would launch each month but didn’t go into detail about how many will arrive at one time.

How serious is Apple about this new platform?

Very. Not only have they invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the creation of Apple Arcade, but they’re very hands-on with the developers too.

Apple has invested cash into the studios that are producing games for the platform. One of the biggest concerns of a game developer is making a product that stays within budget. But with Apple’s seemingly endless funds helping to keep these studios afloat, it means they can always deliver the best games possible.

What else will Apple Arcade have?

Apple Arcade will also feature specially curated content. Like the App Store homepage, gaming experts at Apple will pull together the very best titles from a specific genre and serve them up in one handy place.

It could be split between the likes of sports, puzzle, action and the like. Or dig deeper into more specific aspects such as games that take place in outer space or feature animals. The options are endless.

We expect this to be refreshed on a weekly basis just like the App Store homepage.

In addition to the curated content, Apple Arcade will include game trailers for upcoming titles and guides to help you overcome tricky bits.

Updated: September 12, 2019 01:29 PM

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