Apple is planning a subscription service for games, according to five people familiar with the matter.
The service would function like Netflix for games, allowing users who pay a subscription fee to access a bundled list of titles. Apple ($AAPL) began privately discussing a subscription service with game developers in the second half of 2018, said the people, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss unannounced plans.
As iPhone sales begin to plateau, it’s clear that we’ll be seeing a shift toward subscription services revenue from Apple. We already have Apple Music and we’ll soon have both video and news subscription services from Apple. Music, video, and news is right in Apple’s wheelhouse. Video games, however, seem like a stretch.
Apple’s had an interesting history with gaming. Between the mediocre games available on the AppleTV, to the Mac ecosystem being completely eclipsed by PC gaming, their only area of gaming success is on iOS. While Xbox and PlayStation are ramping up their Netflix-like gaming subscription services featuring triple-A producers like Rockstar and Ubisoft, it makes sense for Apple to want to mimic these changes in the industry on their own platform. I’m just not so sure the market is looking for a subscription service on $5 iOS games.