Apple Arcade Expands to Include Past Classics

Posted on April 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, iOS, iPadOS, Mobile gaming with 11 Comments

Apple announced today that it is expanding the available games in Apple Arcade by adding older App Store games to the subscription. I think it’s fair to say that Apple Arcade hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, or, as Apple puts it…

“In its inaugural year, Apple Arcade won over media critics and fans for its creativity, diverse portfolio, and commitment to players’ privacy, providing a safe gaming service to enjoy with family and friends,” Apple vice president Matt Fischer says. “Today we’re launching our biggest expansion since the service debuted, now offering more than 180 great games that include new Arcade Originals, Timeless Classics, and App Store Greats.”

Those latter two categories—Timeless Classics, and App Store Greats—are new to the service.

Timeless Classics includes what Apple calls “universally loved, quintessential genres,” including such games as Good Sudoku by Zach Gage,” “Chess – Play & Learn,” and “Backgammon.” App Store Greats, meanwhile, brings some of the best award-winning games from the App Store to Apple Arcade, including “Threes!,” “Mini Metro,” and “Fruit Ninja Classic,” all without ads and fully unlocked.

With over 180 games, Apple Arcade is suddenly a lot less lackluster, and with a monthly cost of just $4.99, it’s certainly among the least expensive videogame subscription services.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Apple Arcade Expands to Include Past Classics”

  1. dspeterson

    I do wonder at some point if there's a damper on 3rd party efforts with this? Why should I buy another chess, sudoku, etc game when Apple is basically giving them away for free?

    • rmlounsbury

      In reply to dspeterson:

      Well, it still comes with a $4.99 a month price tag and that is still missing a number of titles in the iOS App Store. You probably aren't paying $4.99 a month for access to casual games since the occasional $1-$2.99 app purchase still makes more sense than an on going $4.99 a month subscription.

      I'm not familiar with freemium games vs. Arcade games though. I know NBA 2K is available in the arcade or freemium models. If Arcade eliminates the freemium bits then I'd imagine the impact would be for those titles. I think most AAA titles are still outside of Arcade (such as Minecraft of Final Fantasy).

      I will say, I might give Arcade a test run with them adding all those classic titles.

    • igor engelen

      In reply to dspeterson:it's not like the developers of Arcade games don't get money from it.

  2. Saarek

    Apple Arcade is a fantastic service for my family and well worth the price. For £4.99 a month my children get access to a variety of games, all of which are appropriate for their age group (5 & 7), playable across all of our devices and best of all 100% safe. No dodgy chat rooms, etc, to worry about.

    For me I stick with my Xbox and strategy games on my Mac, but for the kids its brilliant.

  3. curtisspendlove

    The remade Oregon Trail game is kinda awesome.

  4. retcable

    I already have some of these games on my phone as separate apps, Monument Valley for one, so unless there is some compelling reason to switch to the Arcade versions, I do not see a need to delete my paid-for apps to switch to playing them on a subscription service where they would disappear should I decide to cancel the service. Are the makers of these games going to do away with the separate app versions of their games or make them unplayable as separate apps, forcing users to the subscription versions, in order to create a constant revenue stream? I would be REALLY upset if they did that!

  5. ianbetteridge

    Apple Arcade is a very nice service for two kinds of gamers: casuals, who don't want to end up in the world of pain that is mobile games which focus on selling you loot boxes; or anyone who likes unusual creative games. The games that Apple has actively commissioned for the service are really good, as you would expect, and it's nice to be able to play most of them on iOS, iPad, and often Mac and Apple TV. The fact it's shared across your family is also pretty good value.

    However, it's no sense in the same market as Microsoft's Game Pass. I struggled a bit with Game Pass before I cancelled it. It most likely doesn't have the AAA titles you actually want (although I'm hoping this will change), but it has a lot of really good games. But the problem I had is that, as I'm not a really hardcore gamer, it would take me a long time to play through a single game, so it doesn't *feel* like that good a value. Of course that's not entirely true: because I can basically play part way through a game and decide it's not for me, I save a lot on bad games... but "you'll save money from games you don't like!" isn't a great selling point.

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