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Apple may be spending 'hundreds of millions' to land games for Arcade

There's a bonus if they're temporary exclusives.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 14, 2019
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

You know by now that Apple is pushing for as many high-profile games as it can get for its upcoming Arcade service, but how far is it willing to go? Quite far, apparently. Financial Times sources claim Apple is spending "hundreds of millions" of dollars, "likely" over $500 million in total, to secure games for the subscription offering. It's reportedly spending "several" million dollars per game, and is offering perks if developers grant temporary exclusives that keep titles off Android or even console subscriptions like the Xbox Game Pass.

Apple has declined to comment.

If accurate, it's a large commitment -- roughly half the $1 billion set aside for the initial Apple TV+ show roster. That kind of spending isn't outlandish given the company's aims, though. A subscription game service won't fly if it doesn't have marquee games to bring you in. Arcade in particular is a bid to revive interest in paid games during the free-to-play era, and could help Apple reinforce its historic advantage over Android in mobile gaming (where big games are either iOS-exclusive or iOS-first). What Apple spends now might pay dividends if it leads to more mobile gamers and game studios flocking to iOS.

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