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Apple Arcade games could see a dramatic shift to retain subscribers

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Months ago, Apple cancelled its contracts for a number of Apple Arcade games and chased down other titles as part of a strategy shift that aims to improve subscriber retention, according to a new Bloomberg report.

The strategy? Put out more games that keep players ‘engaged’ and playing beyond the service’s month-long free trial, and by extension, cut out the titles in the pipeline that Apple doesn’t expect will fit this bill.

The report cited Grindstone as an example that fits this criteria: an addictive puzzler that was lauded by Polygon and others for keeping players hooked far longer than other launch titles in Apple Arcade’s 60-plus game lineup. Even after growing to 120 titles today, with more added every month, the service doesn’t feature the amount of bona fide hits that keep subscribers hooked.

(Image credit: Capybara Games Inc)

Apple Arcade has a wide range of games, but some are more calming and experiential than the simple, repetitive, yet replayable gameplay of Grindstone and others on the service. The monthly $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 fee gives subscribers access to the full game library without ads or in-game monetization, which is appealing – but this strategy shift suggests the service needs more to justify its price to consumers.

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