Apple Arcade mobile games don't have microtransactions

The new Apple Arcade service offers premium full games rather than monetized titles.

Published Wed, Sep 18 2019 5:36 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:47 AM CST

Apple's new Apple Arcade all-you-can-play games subscription service won't have microtransaction-riddled games.

Apple Arcade mobile games don't have microtransactions |

Apple Arcade, Apple's new games service for mobile, Mac, and Apple TV, is a breath of fresh air in the games industry. Practically every mobile game these days have strong monetization methods, especially if they're free to play. Hell, even full-priced AAA games have them. But Apple Arcade is different. All of the planned 100+ games on the $4.99 a month service are full experiences that can be played across a myriad of devices, all without microtransactions.

Apple's new service could disrupt the billion-dollar mobile gaming market. The trade-off is not actually owning the games themselves and trading off microtransactions and full game purchases for a recurring $5 a month, $60 a year subscription. The real disruption comes in how the games are made, though, especially if they're not built around microtransactions. And there's cross-saves too.

Nearly all online games are built around monetization. There's a distinct engagement-driven formula that all live service games need to follow, and this goes double for mobile games with F2P hooks. Companies like King and Tencent rake in billions every year thanks to aggressive grinding tactics that sell gamers convenience options.

Since Apple Arcade games aren't monetized with in-game purchases, they aren't trapped by this mechanism. They're not built around weird manipulative mechanics that consistently sell you time-saving packs or currencies. It's a clear strike at the current mobile games landscape and Apple aims to meld the worlds of mobile and console gaming together.

Apple is also directly funding development of these games and has a vested interest in their success.

The company reportedly spent $500 million on the service. But this investment comes with hooks: every game is exclusive to iOS on mobile, and can't release on Android. In this way Apple Arcade is like the Epic Games Store of mobile gaming.

I'm curious how well the service will do. It's now live on iOS 13 Beta and the games selection is pretty robust, complete with 59 games including a new Shantae platformer and a new Square Enix RPG. A new Exit the Gungeon game is also in the works for the service.

Apple Arcade launches on September 19 for $4.99 on iOS 13, and then September 30 for iPads and Apple TV devices.

The Mac desktop and laptop flavor will be available in October.

New and Exclusive Games

From action and adventure games to party and puzzle games, everyone can count on finding something they'll love. Some of the titles debuting on Apple Arcade include:

"Ballistic Baseball" from Gameloft, is an action-packed arcade baseball game that captures the intense battle between pitcher and batter in live head-to-head multiplayer matches.

"ChuChu Rocket! Universe" explodes as Sega launches the beloved ChuChus into a universe of strange and wonderful planets with over 100 mind-bending puzzles.

In "Exit the Gungeon" from Devolver, players must escape a collapsing hell dungeon as increasingly perilous obstacles and opponents stand in their way.

"Overland" from Finji, is a post-apocalyptic road trip adventure where players fight dangerous creatures, rescue stranded travelers and scavenge for supplies to survive.

"PAC-MAN PARTY ROYALE" from Bandai Namco, is a brand-new arcade experience featuring a four-player Battle Mode where the last PAC-MAN standing wins.

In "Projection: First Light" from Blowfish, players follow the adventures of Greta, a girl living in a mythological shadow puppet world as she embarks on a journey of self-enlightenment, helped by legendary heroes from ancient cultures along the way.

In "Rayman Mini" from Ubisoft, Rayman has been reduced to the size of an ant! Players use insects, mushrooms and plants to run through the world as quickly as possible or try over and over again to achieve the perfect score.

In "Shantae and the Seven Sirens" from WayForward, players explore a vast sunken city and battle the Seven Sirens in the Half-Genie's most thrilling adventure yet.

"Skate City" from Snowman brings the heart and soul of street skating to life with multi-touch controls as city streets become the ultimate skater playground.

In "Sneaky Sasquatch" from RAC7, players live the life of a Sasquatch and do regular, everyday Sasquatch stuff like sneaking around in disguise, raiding coolers and picnic baskets, playing golf and more.

"Steven Universe: Unleash the Light," is an original Cartoon Network game, co-written by Rebecca Sugar, where players pick their favorite characters, choose which Gems are in their party, unlock awesome new abilities and equip alternate costumes in the ultimate mobile role-playing game (RPG).

"Super Impossible Road" from Rogue Games, is a futuristic, high-speed racing game where players master hairpin turns on courses that twist and coil over beautiful galactic backdrops.

"The Bradwell Conspiracy" from Bossa, is a beautifully stylized conspiracy adventure thriller with a humorous twist.

In "The Enchanted World" from Noodlecake, players help a young fairy piece together a magical world torn apart by dark forces.

"Various Daylife" from Square Enix, is a brand-new RPG from the creators of "Bravely Default" and "Octopath Traveler." In the year 211 of the Imperial Era, players explore a newly discovered continent while living life to the fullest in the city of Erebia.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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