Apple Arcade: Why games are disappearing from the subscription service - and how

Apple Arcade: Why games are disappearing from the subscription service – and how

After more than a dozen titles were deleted from Apple Arcade for the first time, Apple has released details on how the cloud gaming service will deal with such cases in the future. A separate support document has been published for this, but it leaves a few questions unanswered.

Apple Arcade is a subscription offer: For a payment of 5 euros per month, Apple users can currently access around 200 games. These are each available in a variant that is very advantageous for the player: There are no ads, annoying in-app purchases, or user tracking, quite the opposite of many “normal” titles. Also, the games can often be downloaded for offline play on iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV since they behave like regular app store apps.

However, including titles does not mean that they will always be available. As Apple has officially announced, the first 15 games will disappear from the range. These are mainly games that were already delivered at the start of Arcade in summer 2019. Apparently their contracts were about to expire. For subscribers, this means that they will soon no longer have access. You didn’t buy the titles, you just subscribed to the availability of use – and Apple determines this.

Apple’s new support document now explains in English what happens when games “leave” Arcade – because, as Apple officially confirmed for the first time, they can. “Games can sometimes leave Apple Arcade,” the company said. If a title was downloaded before the end of availability, it will be available for “at least” two weeks after that. Subsequently, a “No longer available” error message appears when trying to start the game.

What else happens is not at Apple’s discretion. Instead, a game developer can decide to continue publishing a title in the App Store – but then in a new version. “These titles may differ from the arcade variant,” Apple said. When it comes to handling saved games, Apple stays out: only if a developer allows you to load saved games from arcade games can you continue in the non-arcade app.

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