Apple have just allowed a video-game company to offer their titles on a subscription for the iPad, something they've only thus far allowed magazine and newspaper publishers. Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer access to dozens of titles for $6.99 per month.
Until today, games have only been made available as a one-time purchase, requiring users to download individual applications. Apple introduced their subscription feature earlier this year, where the founder of Big Fish, Paul Thelen, seeing an opportunity to offer an "all-you-can-eat" service. This is great as it allows players to go into one game, then into another, without having to download separate games.
Game-subscription services have not had a perfect track record, but mix the popularity of the iPad, with easy payment methods provided by Apple's App Store, makes this a much better step in the right direction. Thelen says:
This is the first time that the technology has matched the business model.
Netflix offer a similar streaming application for the iPad where subscribers get unlimited access to TV shows, etc. Big Fish Games app will allow unlimited access to games such as "Mystery Case Files" and the "Mahjong Towers" series from within the Big Fish app.
Big Fish Games have also designed the application in such a way that it can be easily modified to work on smartphones or tablets powered by Google's Android OS, as well as Internet-connection TVs. An Android-based version of Big Fish's app is said to be coming in Q1, 2012.
The $6.99 subscription service won't be the only thing Big Fish will be offering, there will be a free version of its service which limits play to just 30 minutes per day, including advertising. Initially, Big Fish will charge subscribers just $4.99, and it will grow in 2012 to $6.99 as more titles are added. Apple takes a 30-percent commission on this.