Apple is thought to be working on a brand-new subscription service for paid games, with Bloomberg reporting yesterday morning that such a product might be unveiled at tomorrow’s press event. The presentation will focus on an Apple-branded video-streaming service.
The rumored games subscriptions service would be a part of Apple’s new pivot to subscriptions as it works to transform itself into a leading digital services provider.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman:
Apple is also working on a premium games subscription for its App Store and discussing it with potential partners, according to people with knowledge of the plans.
This service won’t take on new cloud-based streaming offerings like Google Stadia. Instead, it will focus on iPhones and iPads and bundle together paid games from different developers that consumers can access for a monthly fee.
Cheddar‘s Alex Heath was first to report at the end of January that Apple was discussing the plan with select game developers who might be launch partners.
How would Apple share a revenue with game makers?
The company would collect these monthly fees, then divide up the revenue between developers based on how much time users spend playing their games, one of the people said. Apple is likely considering popular paid titles on App Store and would exclude titles that are free to download but generate revenue via in-app purchases.
Mobile games may become a $100 billion industry by 2021, according to the gaming and esports intelligence firm Newzoo. Apple would be wise to create such a service—even more so knowing that mobile games make up about three-quarters of total App Store revenue.
The company could even leverage the rumored service to land some exclusive games, so-called system sellers, that might push some people into buying more Apple hardware.
For instance, Apple could offer select developers lower App Store fees in exchange for exclusivity. Currently, it keeps 30 percent of App Store revenue to itself, or 15 percent on subscriptions after the first 12 months of uninterrupted service.
That would be no different from similar monetary perks that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo offer to developers to entice them to build exclusive games for their systems.
This bit on an Apple Prime-like bundle is interesting, too:
On Monday, Apple will add video and news subscriptions, and could unveil a similar offering for credit cards. The firm may also discuss combining all these digital services into a single bundle, similar to Amazon’s popular Prime program. Apple already has discussed the possibility of discounts for users who subscribe to more than one service.
The report cautioned against expecting new hardware tomorrow.
Who’s looking forward to tomorrow?