∞ Apple allows subscriptions for iOS games


Apple Inc. (AAPL) is letting a video-game company offer its titles by subscription on the iPad, expanding the role of a feature typically used by magazine and newspaper publishers.Big Fish Games, a Seattle-based game publisher, won approval from Apple to become the first to offer users access to dozens of titles for $6.99 a month. Until now, games have only been available one at a time, requiring users to download individual applications.

Charging subscribers a fee to play every month is reminiscent of the way games worked on cell phones in the bad old days before Apple launched the iPhone. I, for one, am not happy to see this development.

Update, 3:49 PM 11/23: The Big Fish Games title that uses subscriptions – the first such title – has been pulled, according to MacNN.There is no explanation for the decision.

  • I don’t like this either, hopefully enough consumers vote with their wallets by not buying subscriptions like this ensuring it won’t get popular. I don’t think many people will find any value in a subscription based gaming either to be honest – most gamers don’t want to play every game by a specific developer. 

  • I don’t like the idea of paying monthly for games, but this seems like a decent free-market move by Apple and an easy point for them to concede. If it’s a bad idea, and I think we’re all pretty clear in our own heads that it most certainly is, the market will provide it’s own feedback to the developers who choose this route, by not paying for the games.

    So, Apple wins for loosening it’s grip and gaining public favor, developers who choose this route lose, because it’s just a stupid thing to try.

  • His Shadow

    I am somewhat in agreement with Jim. But as noted above, good idea or bad, consumers will decide what makes sense for them. So many subscription services for things not magazines and newspapers have been received poorly, I don’t see this getting anymore traction than other systems.

    • Peter Cohen


      • His Shadow

        Apologies. That’s what I get for not reading the attributions.

        • Peter Cohen