Apple Arcade logoSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple has canceled a number of titles for Apple Arcade.
  • The cancellation is due to a shift in strategy for the service.
  • Apple is leaving the door open to working with those studios again.

Less than a year since Apple Arcade launched to the public, Apple seems to be making some changes in strategy for the service.

Reported by Bloomberg, Apple has canceled a number of titles that were originally planned for Apple Arcade in a strategy shift towards finding games that would promote more "engagement" with the service.

"On calls in mid-April, an Apple Arcade creative producer told some developers that their upcoming games didn't have the level of "engagement" Apple is seeking, the people said. Apple is increasingly interested in titles that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service, according to the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private conversations."

According to the report, studios were paid up to the development milestones that they hit, but the financial impact was still felt for all, only to be compounded by the pandemic.

"Some developers who had contracts canceled by Apple were suddenly faced with financial woes, compounded by the pandemic, according to the people briefed on what happened. While Apple ended contracts, it still paid studios based on the development milestones they already hit. The company also told developers that it would work with them on future titles that meet the new requirements."

In a statement, Apple touted the library of games in Apple Arcade and expressed excitement for what developers are working on next.

"Apple Arcade has redefined what a gaming service can be, putting unlimited play at the fingertips of subscribers and their families across all their Apple devices ... We are proud to have launched the first-ever mobile game subscription service that now features more than 120 games, many of which are award-winning and widely celebrated for their artistry and gameplay. The vision has always been to grow and evolve the Apple Arcade catalog, and we can't wait for our users to try the games developers are working on now."

Apple Arcade launched last fall and has grown to over a hundred titles. At WWDC, Apple also announced a major expansion to Game Center as well as more personalization for Apple Arcade on Apple TV.