Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade is a paid mobile game subscription service on the App Store that allows users to sign up and enjoy high-quality games straight from a separate tab.

What is Apple Arcade

Apple Arcade is a paid mobile game subscription service on the App Store that allows users (up to six family members) to sign up and enjoy 100+ premium, high-quality games straight from a separate tab in the App Store. It is Apple’s equivalent to Google’s ‘Google Play Pass’ service. Apple Arcade games are obviously visible in other places around the App Store too, for example, on the Today tab, in the search results page and on different featuring placements; placed strategically to increase exposure and drive users to the game subscription.

With the service there are no ads and no in-app purchase payments and being available both online and offline means users won’t rely on wifi for their gaming. 

Why Apple Arcade is Important

It’s important because it’s a completely separate channel for growth. For app devs / marketers who are interested in the Apple Arcade route (it’s currently a case by case approval by Apple option), as an additional channel it means the potential for more reach, more discoverability and could result in an increase in installs. The arcade allows apps devs / marketers to choose a different model for their game, so instead of relying on ad revenues and in-app purchases they can partner up with Apple and make revenues that way instead. The current assumption is that Apple is adopting revenue sharing agreements with developers but there’s no information publicly available on the topic.

Apple Arcade and ASO

Naturally, Apple Arcade is important to ASO. Firstly, it affects how an app ‘features’ due to Apple’s potential priority to its arcade games on featuring placements around the App Store, so it’s certainly something to keep track of.  

But, at a $4.99/month price point after a free trial, Apple Arcade is surprisingly accessible and is competitive enough to compete with the cost of some in-app purchases found in their App Store games. Being such good value for money means that users might not be deterred by a relatively low price tag and may be more likely to investigate the arcade offerings. This may result in gamers being more interested in the subscription service than the usual paid mobile game market on the App Store which could have a negative impact on paid app’s CVR in the App Store, though, Involving a testing platform like Storemaven that has access to millions of user sessions would be beneficial to optimize a product page. Experts like Storemaven will be able to advise on all options for optimization, including how to rank for keyword searches with users who will be looking for similar games to those that are offered in the arcade.

Related Terms

  • App Store Optimization (ASO)
    App store optimization, or ASO for short, is the science of improving the performance of an app store listing.
  • App Store Search
    App Store Search is an organic traffic source that includes all users who find an app after searching for a query or keyword in the search tab in the App Store.
  • App Store Personalization
    App Store personalization is Apple’s process in surfacing the most relevant apps to individual users at the most relevant time.