GOML! Subscription Services

(GOML is merely an opinion piece. It’s an excuse for me to feel like an old man and yell at the clouds.)

Welcome to the first episode of “Get Off My Lawn”!

Ahh. Here we are on the eve of the Apple Arcade launch. You can almost smell it! It smells like creativity and automatic withdrawals.

I’ve been passionate about the industry for 30+ years and I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. Some good and some bad. And I understand that things change. Every generation brings something new with it and I’m all for that! But that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it!

Now, the mobile game industry is still a fairly new platform and has been changing ever since the App Store first launched. We’ve seen F2P (free to play) games and IAPs become the normal the past couple years, but paid (premium) games still had a market out there. We’ve even seen paid games start to make a comeback over the past year. Now, we have subscription services making its big debut on the App Store.

Here’s where the “old man” in me kicks in.

Now, I’m fine with these services. Right now we have Apple Arcade, GameClub, and Playond that I know of. All 3 services are great in their own way. Apple Arcade looks to have a bunch of new and exclusive games, GameClub is doing a cool thing with bringing older mobile games back to life, and Playond is kind of a mixture of both. I really hope all three do well.

My issue is that I feel that it’s going to drive away smaller developers. It’s hard enough for developers to get their games noticed on the App Store. And if your game isn’t on any of these services, you’re pretty much screwed. And you know Apple is going to be pushing Apple Arcade for the foreseeable future on the App Store, so it’s going to be almost impossible for smaller games to get noticed.

I wrote an article a few months ago about there being too many subscription services, and I still kind of feel the same. I mean, we have Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, Spotify, etc. for TV and music. Then we have PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass, and even Nintendo Online. (That doesn’t include PS Plus/Xbox Live/etc.) Plus, just about every F2P game has its own “VIP” subscription service now. We’re starting to get overloaded with monthly charges! The average person isn’t going to subscribe to every service out there. That goes for these new services on the App Store too. They are going to pick the one they like the most and most likely, stick with that. If we go the route consoles have been going and we end up with services locking up games/developers for exclusives, the customers are going to be the ones losing. It’ll force gamers to pay for every service out there or run the risk of not playing the games they want. Great for business, but bad for consumers.

Like I’ve said before, I’m actually excited about some of these services. Apple Arcade looks like it’s going to have a ridiculous launch title lineup and GameClub looks like it’s on the right track with bringing back some of my favorite classic iOS games. It’s going to be interesting to watch for sure. As long as it’s working out for the developers and the gamers are happy, then bring it on!

With all these changes coming up, just remember. SNAPP Attack will always be here covering the overlooked and underappreciated games on the App Store and eShop. That part will never change.

NOEN (@hashtagNOEN)

SUBSCIBE to the SNAPP Patreon! (heh)

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