Many of us already subscribe to services for movies, TV shows and music. Now Apple could be hoping we'll do the same for games, according to a report from Cheddar.
The business network's sources claim Apple is in the early stages of planning a Netflix-like subscription service specifically for games on its iOS platform that powers iPhones and iPads. The service would supposedly provide access to a pre-selected number of titles on a monthly basis, and could even see Apple electing to publish specific games for the first time in the company's history.
Talks with developers and publishers reportedly began late last year, as Apple is looking for ways to increase revenue from its services department with sales of iPhones slowing down. However, the strategy isn't finalized at this time, and it's possible Apple could still shelve it, Cheddar notes.
If Apple does bring the project to fruition, it would join Apple Music in its growing array of subscription services. The company is also expected to launch subscription-based platforms for video-based content and news in the near future.
"As smartphones mature and the replacement cycle lengthens, Apple has been focusing more on services," said Avi Greengart, research director of consumer platforms and devices at GlobalData. "There are already successful subscription gaming services for consoles and VR headsets, so it certainly seems plausible that Apple would test the market for mobile gaming this way, too."
No game subscription service of the type Apple's planning currently exists within the mobile space, though Microsoft has operated a service that sounds similar in theory, called Game Pass, for its Xbox One console since 2017.
However, the gains for Apple stand to be considerably larger thanks to the booming growth of the mobile gaming market. A joint report issued by App Annie and IDC found that spending on mobile games — including subscription costs and in-app purchases, as well as standalone titles — surpassed spending on home consoles, handhelds and PC combined by one-third in 2017.