Apple Reportedly Canceling Some Apple Arcade Games and Changing Direction

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Reporting by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman hints at trouble with Apple Arcade, with Apple canceling upcoming titles to focus on “engagement.”

If Apple wants to do gaming then they need to engage the mainstream gaming companies and the culture. They have been avoiding it like the plague since forever. The Arcade seemed to be an attempt to bypass mainstream gaming. They need to engage the professional gaming companies directly and they need to give them what they need not what they say they want. Apple needs to solve their problems vs. caving to their demands.

There are some technical hurdles around gaming on Mac but that’s not the real problem. The real problem is cultural. Technical problems are solvable. There is no good reason that games cannot run on Mac other than the cultural divide. That’s the biggest problem.

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I’m still subscribed, but probably won’t be for long. I like some of the games a lot, but I detest that every time I open a game I have to wait for the Apple Arcade billboard for far longer than I have tolerance for, then I have to keep waiting for the game to load.

The mac versions don’t work well via screen sharing (huge lags in mouse responsiveness that I don’t get from any other apps), and they often don’t work with a real (scroll wheel) mouse. It’s nearly impossible for me to expand a card stack in Where Cards Fall.

If Apple is having trouble with engagement, they should start by making them less frustrating, especially the casual ones–if I only have 5 minutes to play something, I’m not going to waste 20% of that waiting for it to load–I’ll just open a non-arcade game.

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I’m not anything resembling a gamer, but I’m going to take a guess on this one. It would not make sense for Apple to try to compete with stuff that Xbox and PlayStation owners already paid for, or probably will pay for, especially since they are allowing Arcade members to use Xbox and PlayStation controllers on Arcade. And IIRC, they want Arcade games to run on iPad, iPhone and Mac. Rather than competing with the major blockbuster titles, they are creating a super cool distribution platform for indie production studios, Like the film distributors that work with studios such as Spike Lee’s Fifty Acres And A Mule, Quentin Tarantino’s A Band Apart, and the studios Margo Robbie and Greta Gerwig started. It’s a decidedly “think different” approach to gaming…all stuff that I don’t think has been done before on a long term basis. And IIRC, there’s just a $5.00 per month fee, no nickel and diming in games, or big purchase costs for games.

So like the rest of the entertainment business, if a movie or a show isn’t selling tickets, a TV series isn’t getting viewers, or a record isn’t getting airtime, the plug gets pulled.