KEY POINTS

  • Apple is adding the "Ultimate Rivals" series on the Apple Arcade platform.
  • "Ultimate Rivals" brings in many competitive sport athletes in one hockey game.
  • The game is about to enter a market with reigning titles that also have mobile presence.

Apple has recently launched the "Ultimate Rivals" sports game franchise on Apple Arcade. The upcoming game is a series of sports video games which spans many popular competitive ball games and hockey. Rather than simply being a sports game, the upcoming series aims to mix things up with its unique approach to its roster.

According to the official Apple newsroom, Apple has just released the "Ultimate Rivals: The Rink." This title is a 3-on-3 hockey game which features an all-star roster. However, "Ultimate Rivals" pulls its roster not only from hockey, but also stars from other sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball.

For a sports video game title, this style of filling up the playable roster is more or less unheard of. “We are ripping up the sports video game rule book and re-writing it for a new generation.” said Bit Fry Game Studios CEO and series creator Ben Freidlin.

The playable athletes confirmed for the title are Alex Ovechkin, Alex Morgan, De’Aaron Fox, Jose Altuve, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Wayne Gretzky. Aside from Gretzky and Ovechkin, the other playable athletes are from other ball games and not star players of hockey.

The title will also pull its playable cast from the NHL, NBA, NFL Players Association (NFLPA), WNBA, MLB and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association (USWNTPA). In the future, the title may take its playable athletes from these sports leagues.

So far, "Ultimate Rivals" is one of the few sports titles that Apple Arcade currently holds. Most of the famous sports video game titles such as the "NBA 2K Mobile" from 2K Sports and "NBA Jam" from EA are currently available on regular App Store.

As of now, the reigning titles in sports games are the annual titles such as “NBA 2K,” “NHL,” “Madden,” and “FIFA,” which are uncontested at the top spot. “Ultimate Rivals” may need to work twice as hard to get noticed by many sports video game fans.

Fortunately, the title is confirmed to have 60 frames per second for its graphics and excellent controls. Fans can try out the title now as it is available in the Apple Arcade store.

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