The opinions in this article are solely the opinions of Ryan Baez (AlphaFoxWarfare)
The macOS platform back in the day had games on it like no tomorrow. From Naughty Dog’s first games like Math Jam and Ski Crazed for the Apple II to classic Bungie games like Marathon and Halo, the Mac was full of games. Flash forward to 2019, there’s hardly anything on here. From maybe a strange indie here to bad ports from games across the late 2000s to early 2010s, we don’t have many choices to pick from. However, I think they finally have a way to make the macOS platform popular for games again. At WWDC 2018, Apple finally said that they have plans to bring scalable apps to all their platforms. Take most of iOS’s code and translate it to macOS with little to no effort. Well, now we’re finally seeing that in action with the introduction of Arcade, the game subscription service announced at Apple’s “It’s Show Time” event today.
Over 100 titles will be exclusive to mobile platforms only on iOS, but games can be played on macOS and tvOS as well which means both platforms are about to have an insane influx of new titles. Just like normal App Store titles, there will be many titles with MFi controller support (like the SteelSeries Nimbus) and all games will clearly support mouse and keyboard as well so we aren’t fully restricted to touch controls on many games. The only thing that I could possibly think of that could make this even better is if we had an offical gaming controller, as third party ones are generally old and don’t offer modern features like clickable thumbsticks so while the SteelSeries Nimbus (mentioned above) is a very great option, I think Apple should step into that scene soon.
One thing to note is Apple is SERIOUS about this service too as they partnered with some of the biggest developers and publishers, from AAA to indies like Annapurna Interactive, Sega, Platinum Games, Versus Evil, and more. Another note that expands that seriousness is you can share the service via family sharing at no additional cost. Furthermore, Apple is fully committed to your privacy. Arcade games can’t collect any data about you nor track any information about how you play games without your consent.
We don’t (arguably) have a gaming scene on macOS anymore and tvOS is mainly touch control games but now these look like actually viable titles for people to want to actually play. Look at Oceanhorn 2, that screams very large indie and not something like Crossy Roads. Same thing goes for the insanely gorgeous Beyond a Steel Sky. Besides being generally larger titles, there won’t be ANY in-game ads and no in-app purchases which will make so many gamers extremely happy as this are catering to more than just say the casual market.
When you look at a gaming platform like Windows, or PlayStation 4, or Xbox One, you can see so many games hit those platforms but we that is starting to change with Arcade. Wayforward Games, the makers of the long-running Shantae series, announced Shantae 5. The game was announced for PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and surprisingly Arcade. This was shocking to me in particular, since you never really see games being announced for console, PC, and mobile so Apple seems to be securing games left and right for this movement. Another example we might’ve already seen (not confirmed for this service) is Sky from thatgamecompany. It was announced exclusively for iOS, macOS, and tvOS so that could’ve been the point Apple looked at gaming in a real manner for the first time in a long time.
Arcade launches this fall at an unannounced monthly price.