Rumor mill: Apple is reportedly in the beginning stages of creating a game-subscription service. Users would gain access to a variety of games for a monthly fee.
Five sources familiar with the plan told Cheddar that Apple began considering the idea in the second half of last year. The insiders who requested to remain anonymous to discuss the unannounced service said that nothing concrete had been laid yet.
Possible subscription price, games list, and other details are unknown. The gaming platform is still in the very early stages, the sources say. It is still possible that Apple will decide to scrap the plan.
According to the talks that have occurred so far, Apple has discussed partnerships with game developers where it would act as publisher handling distribution and marketing. No deals have been struck though.
While the final form of the service has not yet been determined, some industry experts believe Apple could consider applying a subscription-like structure within the App Store.
Cook also highlighted the importance that Apple's services such as iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Music will have in 2019. He wants to see this portion of Apple double in revenue by the end of 2020.
“The vast majority of revenue coming out of the App Store is games,” said BTIG industry analyst Brandon Ross. “Subscription has proven to be a successful way of monetizing on mobile. It is completely unproven in games except for some minor success from Microsoft, Sony, and Electronic Arts.”
It has already been pushing app makers including games to incorporate subscriptions into their apps. Apple will reduce its normally 30-percent fee to 15 percent after the first year for developers who use a subscription model for their apps.
For now, this news should be treated as a rumor. Apple has not officially announced anything and declined to comment on the matter. However, the company has been actively working to increase its services division, which accounted for $39.75 billion of its 2018 revenue.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he would like to see revenue double by 2020 for services including iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Music. He also mentioned the company has been working on several new “material” services which it is planning on launching this year.
One of these is expected to be related to personal health. Could another be a games subscription? We’ll have to wait and see.