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Apple eyes a games subscription service for the App Store

There are plenty of companies looking to become the “Netflix of games.” From the upcoming Google Stadia to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, the subscription gaming space seems to be a spot where a number of companies would like to be, and a report on Bloomberg suggests Apple could be amongst them.

This isn’t about a new console or anything – this focuses purely on where Apple has already changed the face of gaming: the App Store. The idea would be a kind of games pass, where avid gamers can play a flat fee for access to an ever-growing library of premium iOS games. Think Football Manager and Minecraft rather than Candy Crush Saga or Angry Birds.

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What’s particularly interesting about the report is that developers who decide to partner with Apple on this reportedly won’t be paid just for featuring: their revenue share each month will be calculated based on how much time subscribers to the service spend on their specific titles. That rings some alarm bells as it suggests developers could be incentivised to engage in the kind of cheap psychological tricks that some freemium apps pull to get more ad impressions or force microtransactions.

That said, the appeal for premium game developers should be pretty obvious: there are plenty of people who still balk at the idea of paying more than 79p for apps, no matter how many developers have worked months or years on the project. This might give companies a way of expanding their user base without having to scrimp on quality.

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It’s not clear whether Apple will mention the games subscription service at tonight’s event, which should be mainly focused on the company’s streaming TV plans. But if the report proves to be accurate, it shouldn’t be too long before the company rolls something out.

Would you pay a monthly subscription for top-tier mobile games? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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