Apple has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to secure exclusive rights to new video games ahead of the launch its new Arcade subscription service, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The tech giant unveiled Apple Arcade, a gaming subscription service which is set to feature more than 100 new and exclusive games, last month. Apple claimed that it would give customers "the freedom to try any game from its handpicked collection of titles that are all-you-can-play", in addition to having "no ads, ad tracking or additional purchases", all with an added emphasis on user privacy.
The Financial Times reported that the new service's budget was "likely to exceed $500m", demonstrating Apple's seriousness in entering the gaming industry, which valued $137.9bn last year, according to New Zoo.
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Despite the significant investment Apple will make in its Arcade service, the service has so far received little attention compared to the company's bid to take on Netflix with its new streaming service, tipped to have a $1bn budget and stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg onboard.
However, a number of analysts have predicted that games subscriptions could make the company billions of dollars in just a few years due to it offering a steadier model than its current, waning iPhone business which has formed the backbone of the firm. But the company first has to take a risk, the Financial Times pointed out, "to establish itself in the market" by making "substantial upfront investments without knowing whether Arcade will be a success".
While most of the games available on Apple Arcade have yet to be revealed, Apple has confirmed that a few well-established brands will be available on the platform including games from Cartoon Network and Lego, as well as Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series.