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Apple launching their own 'Netflix' for games. May become a Publisher


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It's not going to be on Apple TV. There is no logical reason for it to be a streaming service. It's actually paining me how many responses aren't reading the article in the OP.

 

Think: PS Plus / Xbox Game Pass for iOS. The least complicated proposition, for the most popular platform they have. It's not going to be more complicated than that, honestly.

 

This project is (perhaps) exciting because suddenly there could be a channel on iOS for profitably (or at least dramatically less riskily) making premium games. Which hasn't really been the case for all but a few hyper-specialised studios (e.g. ustwo, fireproof, mojang, coffeestain, devolver to some extent) for the past five years or more.

 

But I agree that the odds are stacked against it (unless they've lined up some REALLY surprising big name games).

 

Even though Apple's internal culture around games has improved dramatically over the past few years, games are still looked down on (vs. tv, music, 'serious' productivity apps etc.) which makes me wonder if they'll be able to get support to take big risks like MS did e.g. buying big studios to bolster Xbox. If every decision is being challenged with "how does this sell more phones, right now?" they will struggle to make long term bets.

 

Compounding this is the fact that they've burnt a lot of bridges with devs that did take a risk making premium games only to get no support - Jeff Minter being a particularly woeful case. (And Cave perhaps?) A lot of big budget premium mobile games probably got cancelled once the freemium gold rush started.

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1 hour ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

I can see them having a ubiquitous streaming service that lets you play both treble AAA games and the mobile ones. The hardcore won’t touch it because of the lag, but anybody else will be drawn to having the latest PC games to play on their phone. Maybe.

 

 

 

If they really have AAAAAAAAA games I'm sure they'll have a winner on their hands. 

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I'm interested to see how Apple potentially manage three different subscriptions services...

 

Apple Music

The new Apple video streaming service

Apple Play

 

I wonder if they'll roll it up into Apple Music or video service as an additional benefit, like Amazon do with Prime?

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2 hours ago, MK-1601 said:

 There is no logical reason for it to be a streaming service.

 

What other than that being the potentially most disruptive tech in gaming at the moment?

 

Digital Foundry have spoken about how things are changing rapidly in this space - and streaming sorts out all Apple's hardwire limitations. As I said it won't be for those people that are sensitive to lag - but for everyone else it will be just fine.

 

If they are developing the Netflix of gaming - it will be as a streaming service. 

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5 hours ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

 

What other than that being the potentially most disruptive tech in gaming at the moment?

 

Digital Foundry have spoken about how things are changing rapidly in this space - and streaming sorts out all Apple's hardwire limitations. As I said it won't be for those people that are sensitive to lag - but for everyone else it will be just fine.

 

If they are developing the Netflix of gaming - it will be as a streaming service. 

 

 

Ah yes, Apple who famously make strategic decisions based on chasing investor fads.

 

You're not thinking this through. Download a game to my iPhone that's designed to be downloaded once and run locally, or launch it more slowly and try to play it when I have a strong 4G signal?

 

Do you think Apple view iOS hardware as underpowered?

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Mac users will get game streaming regardless of it comes from Apple or not, which is good. It's whether they, Apple, see a big enough opportunity there to invest to make it a success right now. I'm not convinced.

 

From a backend perspective, the space it gonna become a commodity business... you buy it from AWS/Google/Azure, and layer the service on top of that. So the spend will be to do whatever is needed to capture the audience. I don't think Apple have the appetite for that yet, and in fact they'll let others make that case for MacOS gaming. I think.

 

I think MK-1601 is on the money when it comes to this being an iOS focused initiative. I'm just intrigued on whether this will spill over to being an Apple TV offering also. I mean could it be a good long term additional benefit to their new streaming video service? "Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, don't have games but Apple Stream Does!". I dunno, maybe. Especially if their content platform leaks out into smart TVs like it looks like iTunes is doing.

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4 hours ago, MK-1601 said:

You're not thinking this through. Download a game to my iPhone that's designed to be downloaded once and run locally, or launch it more slowly and try to play it when I have a strong 4G signal?

 

Do you think Apple view iOS hardware as underpowered?

 

I'm not suggesting you will stream Candy Crush. 5G is literally right around the corner which changes the game when it comes to the kind of speeds that will available whilst on the go (Intel is providing Apple with the 5G chips for their 2020 iPhone).

 

And yeah I think iOS devices are underpowered compared to a Xbox one X, PS4 Pro or a PC, don’t you?

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18 hours ago, witchypoos said:

Not saying I disagree with what you're implying, but AAA refers to budget rather than quality, doesn't it?

 

It originates from the term credit rating agencies use to rate debt, with AAA being the least likely to go bankrupt. It has always referred to the amount of money somebody was willing to throw at a game project to make it successful, by giving it the fanciest production values and masses of polished content.

 

As to whose fault it is that the average punter continues to think it relates primarily to actual game quality (though tangentially you could say it does to a degree as some of the best games of all times from the big publishers did have more money thrown at them than the average game is lucky to get), fuck knows.

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16 hours ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

 

I'm not suggesting you will stream Candy Crush. 5G is literally right around the corner which changes the game when it comes to the kind of speeds that will available whilst on the go (Intel is providing Apple with the 5G chips for their 2020 iPhone).

 

And yeah I think iOS devices are underpowered compared to a Xbox one X, PS4 Pro or a PC, don’t you?

 

What you are describing could theoretically exist at some future point, yes.

 

Apple aren't going to put something front and centre on the App Store, where a mostly non-hobbyist gamer audience go to play mobile games, that requires at a baseline:

 

* A 2020-gen iPhone/iPad Pro

* An MFi controller

* Console/PC game literacy

* A subscription fee

* Them to actually have the gumption to negotiate deals for recent PC/Mac games

 

The goal for them is to extract as much value as they can practically. Something aimed at a relative niche (bearing in mind they may already feel they have a lot of bases covered with Pokemon Go, Fortnite and Minecraft already being available on the platform) I don't think would look that attractive to them, right now.

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17 hours ago, Dirty Harry Potter said:

I'm not suggesting you will stream Candy Crush. 5G is literally right around the corner which changes the game when it comes to the kind of speeds that will available whilst on the go (Intel is providing Apple with the 5G chips for their 2020 iPhone).

Speed? Yup. Contention? No. Latency? No. Data caps? Oh boy.

 

I don't think 5G will be particularly effective for this.

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  • 1 month later...

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/25/18280589/apple-arcade-gaming-subscription-release-date-pricing-features

 

Non-streaming. Curated exclusive App Store games. List of announced games.

 



Where Cards Fall

The Pathless

LEGO Brawls

Hot Lava

Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm

Beyond a Steel Sky

Mr. Turtle

Frogger in Toy Town

Lega Arthouse, Cardpocalypse

No Way Home

Down in Bermuda

The Bradwell Conspiracy

Projection: First Light

Lifelike

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Repair

Sneaky Sasquatch

UFA on Tape: First Contact

Sonic Racing

Doomsday Vault

ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree

HitchHiker

Spidersaurs

Yaga

Monomals

Enter The Construct

Overland

Winding Worlds

Kings of the Castle

 

Shut up and DON’T take my money.

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When I heard it was in 3D I did die a little, but having seen how beautiful Beyond a Steel Sky looks, and getting the distinct vibe that it is a combination of tradition point and click puzzles AND Witness style puzzles I WANT IT IN MY EYES AND EARS.

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The trailer for Steel Sky looks.. very disappointing imo. Like, cobbled together in X game engine over the course of a few weeks, disappointing. Is Gibbon actually actively involved in it too? Beyond a couple of concept drawings? I liked the original but this type of niche fan service would have been better served going the 2d pixel route like Thimbleweed Park imo.

 

 

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The announcement itself during the presentation was weird. As if Apple really didn’t give a rat’s arse about games beyond it being popular in the App Store. Hell, they even snuck a “games are for kids” thing in there. The sizzle reel was completely flat. Without knowing what the games are about or how they’d play, it was just a weird curated set of pretty pictures. Which is exactly not how to promote games. Even Sony knows that. 

 

I actually felt a bit sorry for Sakaguchi. Guy deserves better. 

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The painted backgrounds in BASS were such a huge part of its appeal; it’s understandable that they haven’t commissioned Dave Gibbons to do hundreds more and made an old school point & click adventure with modern sensibilities (ie no deaths, no pixel hunting), but also a bit of a shame. That painterly style would look gorgeous on an iPad, and you could probably make it a bit more stylised without having to have everything in flat planes to allow for the sprites to move around. I would have thought that there’d be enough residual interest in BASS for them to crowdfund that kind of sequel, too. 

 

Maybe this his will be good, but that trailer was underwhelming. The music was nice, I’ll give it that. 

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"Are Apple still anti-games? Over to you, VP of Marketing Ann Tai"

 

There was a vibe of total disdain wasn't there? I kind of get what they're doing - pitching the games service to as mainstream an audience as News, TV and Music - but it's painful how obvious it is that they've burnt their bridges with almost anyone who could give them a credible killer app.

 

Beyond a Steel Sky looks intriguing but the sort of thing I'd pick up in a sale on PC/Switch/PS4 later rather than sign up to a service for.

 

Fantasian's gimmick has been done before. Overland still looks as joyless as a Mormon boardgame about abstinance.

 

The scrolling shooter that they showed for half a second was the only interesting looking thing. In fact, arcade games are a perfect fit for iOS, and some of the hardest hit by the collapse of premium - it's crazy that a service literally called Arcade doesn't have more exciting look shooting, racing, fighting etc. games.

 

 

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I'm amazed that they're making a sequel to Beyond a Steel Sky after all this time. I'm fascinated to see how it turns out but I have zero interest in it myself, it doesn't look promising at all. It's a very weird 'get' for Apple, but I suppose it's the only real get they have?

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12 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

LOL you know rllmuk would absolutely shit on that announcement if they hadn't snuck a nostalgia sequel in there.

 

That's what Google missed, just grab a game from the 90s that was pretty middling, stick a 2 on the end of the title and get pages of :o:wub: 

 

Ah no, looks like we’re currently on about a page of people being reasonably cynical but hopeful about Beyond a Steel Sky and you being fucking weird about nostalgia again. 

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That article does make it sound pretty interesting - much more so than that trailer. The ideas around social credit and a data-driven "utopia" also sound pretty topical, and a good spin on the story of BASS. And I think it's admirable that they've tried to move the genre on, rather than just doing a P&C adventure (much as that would have been my preferred option). The game just looks so unexciting - they've gone for a kind of comic-strip aesthetic, except it's a pretty generic cel-shading effect that makes it look more like Borderlands than anything. Nobody would ever make a comic that looked like this, least of all Dave Gibbons - although it does remind me a bit of the period in the late nineties when digital colouring and shading came in, and Gibbons did that Give Me Liberty sequel that looked absolutely fucking awful, with its smooth colour gradients and rendered 3D backgrounds.

 

Comics are so much more versatile than just having a realistic 3D model of a person with lines drawn round it.

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