Subscription gaming service Apple Arcade launches next week

Apple Arcade

Launching Thursday September 19, Apple Arcade is the iPhone-maker's new game subscription service. Dubbed the Netflix for games, it will set subscribers back $4.99 (or £4.99) each month, and will provide unlimited access to a library of games.

Apple Arcade is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, and at launch there are more than 100 games available through the service, and many of these will be exclusives. The service will compete with Google Play Pass when it eventually launches.

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Importantly, Apple Arcade and the games available through it will be free of both ads and in-app purchases, and there's a one-month free trial available so you can see if the all-you-can-eat gaming subscription is for you or not. Apple says that it will be possible to share a subscription with up to six family members through Family Sharing, and points out that all games will be playable offline.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, says:

We are so excited to launch Apple Arcade on the App Store. A curated selection of over 100 new and exclusive games from many of the most innovative game developers in the world is the perfect complement to the App Store's existing massive catalog of games, We think customers of all ages are going to be delighted that a single subscription gives the whole family unlimited access to the full catalog of amazing Apple Arcade games, all without any ads or additional purchases, while knowing every game must meet Apple's high privacy standards.

Apple shared details of some of the games that will be available at launch:

  • Ballistic Baseball from Gameloft, is an action-packed arcade baseball game that captures the intense battle between pitcher and batter in live head-to-head multiplayer matches.
  • ChuChu Rocket! Universe explodes as Sega launches the beloved ChuChus into a universe of strange and wonderful planets with over 100 mind-bending puzzles.
  • In Exit the Gungeon from Devolver, players must escape a collapsing hell dungeon as increasingly perilous obstacles and opponents stand in their way.
  • Overland from Finji, is a post-apocalyptic road trip adventure where players fight dangerous creatures, rescue stranded travelers and scavenge for supplies to survive.
  • PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE from Bandai Namco, is a brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.
  • In Projection: First Light from Blowfish, players follow the adventures of Greta, a girl living in a mythological shadow puppet world as she embarks on a journey of self-enlightenment, helped by legendary heroes from ancient cultures along the way.
  • In Rayman Mini from Ubisoft, Rayman has been reduced to the size of an ant! Players use insects, mushrooms and plants to run through the world as quickly as possible or try over and over again to achieve the perfect score.
  • In Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward, players explore a vast sunken city and battle the Seven Sirens in the Half-Genie's most thrilling adventure yet.
  • Skate City from Snowman brings the heart and soul of street skating to life with multi-touch controls as city streets become the ultimate skater playground.
  • In Sneaky Sasquatch from RAC7, players live the life of a Sasquatch and do regular, everyday Sasquatch stuff like sneaking around in disguise, raiding coolers and picnic baskets, playing golf and more.
  • Steven Universe: Unleash the Light is an original Cartoon Network game, co-written by Rebecca Sugar, where players pick their favorite characters, choose which Gems are in their party, unlock awesome new abilities and equip alternate costumes in the ultimate mobile role-playing game (RPG).
  • Super Impossible Road from Rogue Games, is a futuristic, high-speed racing game where players master hairpin turns on courses that twist and coil over beautiful galactic backdrops.
  • The Bradwell Conspiracy from Bossa, is a beautifully stylized conspiracy adventure thriller with a humorous twist.
  • In The Enchanted World from Noodlecake, players help a young fairy piece together a magical world torn apart by dark forces.
  • Various Daylife from Square Enix, is a brand-new RPG from the creators of Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler. In the year 211 of the Imperial Era, players explore a newly discovered continent while living life to the fullest in the city of Erebia.

While Apple is touting the launch date as September 19, this is only the launch for iOS. Support for the new iPadOS and tvOS comes on September 30, with macOS Catalina support coming some time in October.

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