Apple is charging employees to get their feedback on Apple Arcade

Apple is charging employees to get their feedback on Apple Arcade
Back in March, Apple introduced its new Apple Arcade service. For a yet to be decided monthly fee ($4.99, $9.99?) subscribers will be able to choose from over 100 new mobile games. Apple says that it expects to launch Arcade this fall, but in the meantime, the company is giving employees a preview of the service. According to 9to5Mac, those toiling for the tech giant are getting a one-month free trial; once the trial period expires, they are paying 49 cents a month to test early builds of some of the games that will be offered to subscribers once the platform launches. This early access program is expected to end once the final version of iOS 13 drops.

The games that are available for the early access program include Way of the Turtle, Down in Bermuda, Hot Lava, Sneaky Sasquatch, Kings of the Castle, Frogger in Toy Town and Lame Game 2. Apple Arcade will allow subscribers to play any title available for as long as they want, and players can switch devices from the iPhone to an iPad, a Mac and Apple TV without missing a beat. Users will also be able to play games while offline and a family with up to six members will be able to share a family subscription. Because players will be paying monthly, there are no in-app purchases offered.

Apple has reportedly spent $500 million on Apple Arcade

After iPhone shipments peaked in 2015 at 231.22 million units, the company decided to focus on its services unit. This was a smart move because many of the businesses under the services umbrella, like Apple Music and Apple News+, require recurring payments from subscribers. And these businesses are less reliant on new iPhone sales, depending instead on the large number of active iPhone users which at last count totaled 900 million people. The company has targeted $50 billion in services revenue by 2020 which would be twice the $25 billion that the division grossed in 2016. For the recently announced fiscal third quarter, covering April through June, the services unit took in a record $11.5 billion in revenue. That is a 12.7% year-over-year gain from the $10.2 billion that the division took in during the same quarter in 2018. Overall, the services unit is Apple's second-largest business unit and is it's most profitable. The success or failure of Apple Arcade will go a long way toward determining whether Apple meets its $50 billion revenue goal next year.

Earlier this year, a report claimed that Apple has spent $500 million on Apple Arcade; analysts at HSBC Bank see the subscription service generating $370 million in revenue next year before jumping to $2.7 billion by 2022 and a whopping $4.5 billion by 2024. The bank's analysis forecasts Apple Arcade having 29 million subscribers by 2024 with individual subscriptions costing $12.99 a month.

Besides paying the monthly subscription price, Arcade members are expected to shell out the cash required for them to pick up accessories for their Apple devices such as controllers. While subscribers will be able to navigate through Arcade games using the buttons on their iPhone, iPad or Mac, picking up an MFi (Made for iPhone, iPad) controller could make gameplay a little easier for some.

It seems a little strange that Apple is asking employees to pay 49 cents a month so that the company can collect feedback from them; after all, the point of the early access program is to find out where Apple and the game developers can make changes to improve the user experience. While we have no data revealing how many have signed up for the short-lived program, we'd bet that it was more than enough for Apple and its developer partners to get a good idea of the work that still needs to be done on Arcade before its launch.



1. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

"...and players can switch platforms from the iPhone to an iPad, a Mac and Apple TV without missing a beat”.... This is not 'switching platforms' Alan.... And charging employees 49¢ is also up for debate...

4. Subie

Posts: 2442; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Going from mobile to desktop can definitely be considered "cross-platform". Just because they both fall under the Apple brand doesn't make it the same platform. IOS to Mac OS "cross-platform" compatibility is something Apple is continuing to work on. Just like Google has worked on Android to Chrome OS cross-platform compatibility.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Looking at these games they should all be called "Lame Games". Btw iPad, iPhone, and TV OS all run iOS. So definitely not cross platform, especially since they all run with an Ax ARM SoC.

10. Subie

Posts: 2442; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

To use your language from post #9: Come on sgodsell. From a technical standpoint it is still cross-platform. You clearly didn't understand the definitions of cross-platform in the links I posted. Even developers consider it cross-platform.

17. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I am a developer and no, the iPad, iPhone, and TV OS are NOT cross platform. Go online and lookup the definition of cross platform. - A cross-platform computer product or system is a product or system that can work across multiple types of platforms or operating environments.

21. WieXXX

Posts: 28; Member since: Feb 03, 2019

well, technically you can say it both cross platform and not cross platform. If you see from the chipsets perspective, it is not cross platform, but XBOX One and PS4 using same CPU and GPU, but no one call it “a same platform”. Those device have different operating system, and an app can not run on each platform without recompiling it to run for each platform

11. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

iPhone users can already stream PS4 games to iPhone or iPad which is impossible on android so if someone really care about cross platform gaming, it’s a thing on iPhones already. Apple Arcade is a mobile gaming service allowing to play ad free games free from gaming clutters like in game purchases and micro transactions with fully offline compatible games. It’ll also support PlayStation and Xbox controllers making it much easier for gamers to enjoy mobile gaming on the move. I can’t understand what’s the problem with android users with a service they aren’t gonna pay for. Are you bored of pubg and Pokémon go?

13. Vancetastic

Posts: 1873; Member since: May 17, 2017

I enjoy you fanboys use terms like "iOS users" and "Android users" in a way that makes them sound like separate species.

14. IT-Engineer

Posts: 584; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

+1 from me lol

16. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Mike88 when you post I think your trying to show how ignorant you really are, or you are clueless about other platforms, period. First of all Android users were able to stream PS2, PS3 and 4 games before any iPhone and iPad users were ever doing it. Plus Android smartphones were playing Steam games before iOS users. Also Android users were able to use PS3, 4 and Xbox controllers since they came out. Try and remember Apple has all the Bluetooth restrictions in place, not Android. So if you are going to talk about stuff like you pretend to know what you are talking about, then you should get your facts correct, otherwise you look like an idiot.

19. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Dude!! Calm the f$&@ down ok? Almost 90% of the globe already knows that android is the most capable/advanced mobile OS...

20. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Android streaming ps2,ps3 and ps4 games?? Cool now it shows you never played games( real ones) and never had a console even.. I’ve owned every PlayStation that came out, had around 6 iPhones till now and a dozen of androids too. I would tell you PlayStation 2 was majorly an offline device and just had a lan port for very basic multiplying. PS3 had WiFi but no streaming. PS4 is the only device capable of streaming games and android doesn’t have it. Apart from this , Android never supported ps4 and Xbox controllers otherwise I would be using them too much with my phones. How can you be so blind and comment on things you’ve no idea about ? Maybe you are waiting for stadia to be finally be able to play games

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I owned Sony Xperia smartphones. Clearly you didn't own any. I can tell you I was streaming PS3 and PS4 games. So don't tell me that Android didn't support it. Oh, and before you go on that only certain Sony smartphones supported it. I was able to download the apk and install the app on non Sony smartphones. You could have looked up this stuff yourself, but you pretend that you had some Android smartphones, but all you did again was prove to me any everyone else here that you don't know what your talking about. You could have even looked up about PS4 controllers with Android as well. There is even YouTube videos on it. The blind ignorant person is you. Just stick to your iPhone, because those devices are made for non technical simpletons like you.

23. Mike88

Posts: 438; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

So you tried to do some research this time but failed again, yes Sony phones can stream ps4 games but only because it’s Sony and they launched it for iOS only despite using android themselves, I think they figured out the nature of some android users . And the ps3 streaming to mobile didn’t happen though they were working on it. You never had an Xperia or PlayStation I can bet but you can “daydream” on your realme/Xiomi. When we talk about Ps4/Xbox controllers we talk about original controllers not those cheaper Bluetooth copies for iOS/android. Those are already supported by both iPhones and androids. We are talking about real controllers here that comes with a console, the original ones and iOS will be the only mobile OS to support it

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You said it never happened, but it did happen on Android, years before any iPhone saw it. Plain and simple, but you have to say black when I say white. That's the kind of person you are. You are so wrong, that you have to try and cover up your lies with more lies. Thinking maybe I can save myself with another lie. People themselves can look this stuff up and they will see for themselves that you are nothing but a big fat liar.

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I'm also curious with how much $$$ apple pulls in with their apple care warranty program. Can we expect an article on that?? (It's always included with 'revenue'...thought this was just a warranty thing to deal with defective products...)

3. oldskool50 unregistered

Charging your own employees? Even if the charges wss a penny, that's a shame.

5. oldskool50 unregistered

Ipad, iphone and tv all run the same iOS. How is that different platform? Hahaha. Maybe if it was avail on IOS, Android and Windows; that would be different platforms. IOS is the child of OSX, so that aren't all that different.

6. Alan01

Posts: 661; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Meant to write devices. Change made, Thanks! Alan

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Thank you (thumbs up)...

7. Subie

Posts: 2442; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Going form one OS to another is still cross-platform even if there are commonalities. IOS, TVOS, and Mac OS can all be considered different platforms. Read the second link I posted above.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7614; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Come on Subie. IPhones run the same apps as iPads, as the same TVOS apps. That's because they all run iOS. Plus the APIs are the same with some slight differences. Not to mention all those devices use Apple's Ax SoC. The only difference is Mac OS.

15. cmdacos

Posts: 4386; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Here comes ad free flapy bird. Yay.../s

18. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

I remember Angry Birds,...that was f#$@ing fun....and addictive!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless