According to the Financial Times (as reported on by Tom McKay writing for Gizmodo) Apple will be putting up to a half a billion dollars in funding for their upcoming game subscription service Arcade. According to Times’ analysts, more than 100 of the games lined up for Arcade already have been given budgets “in the millions of dollars” bracket. So why is Apple keen on making such a big investment? Well, of course, they are super wealthy and have enough money to be taking a risk. However, further details in the FT article also give us some perspective into their thinking.
In the FT report, HSBC analysts predict that by ‘2024 revenues for the gaming service will hit the $4.5bn mark with 29 million users paying $12.99 each month’. For some perspective, this year it was reported that Switch Online had only hit the 8 million subscriber mark. This is for Nintendo. A wildly popular, firmly established gaming brand. And it only has a yearly cost of $19.99. As of December 2018, even Playstation Plus’ subscribers numbered just over 36 million. This is for the most popular console out there.
The HSBC prediction numbers are staggering; To think that in just over 5 years Apple Arcade will have reached 29 million people who are willing and able to pay $156 a year (over R2,000 at the current exchange rate) seems incredible. And this will be for a mobile game service that will not only need to compete (or at least co-exist) with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo and perhaps even Google’s Stadia too. It seems, at least to my untrained eye, very optimistic.
What do you think: Is this more Apple iPod-type magic or has Apple finally bitten into a fruit they don’t know enough about? Let us know in the comments section below.