KEY POINTS

  • A new report says Apple is shifting its Apple Arcade strategy
  • This is so that it can retain existing subscribers and gain new ones
  • This has led to the cancellation of some games in development

Apple has canceled some Apple Arcade games in development as it shifts to a new strategy meant to gain and retain more subscribers.

Apple's game subscription service, Apple Arcade, is home to more than 100 games that iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV owners can enjoy. While some players might be enjoying a few great titles included in the roster, one particular group is looking for ways to make Apple Arcade more enjoyable for itself, too: Apple.

A Bloomberg report (via 9To5Mac) reveals that Apple is shifting to a new strategy for Apple Arcade, with the intention of finding ways to gain more subscribers and retain them. More specifically, the new approach involves the company's heightened interest in games “that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service,” the report said.

Per the report, Apple spoke with game developers in April to tell them of its plans, particularly the style of games that it wants added to the service. The report said that according to an Apple Arcade representative who spoke to the devs, the company wants games like “Grindstone,” from Capybara Games.

Grindstone” is a puzzle-action game that features “150 levels of intense puzzle-battling madness,” the App Store preview description reads. It features various kinds of enemies, boss battles, and items like weapons, shields and consumables such as potions. It's basically designed to let players play the game over and over until they get hooked.

Apple's decision to change its strategy for Apple Arcade led to the cancellation of contracts of games that are still in development. These games, according to the report, didn't meet the company's expectations for “engagement” on the platform and needed to be halted.

Although the games were cancelled, Cupertino paid the developer studios “based on the development milestones they already hit.” Still, it's a fact that the devs were “suddenly faced with financial woes, compounded by the pandemic, according to the people briefed on what happened.”

On the good side, despite cancelling ongoing projects that were no longer seen to be beneficial to the new Apple Arcade strategy, Apple promised developers that “it would work with them on future titles,” provided that these new games will meet the company's new requirements.

Apple Arcade could bring more consumers to online games with its low monthly price for unlimited play Apple Arcade Photo: GETTY IMAGES / Michael Short