Apple Arcade, one year on: no killer games, can’t compete with free

This guest post was written by Josh Burns, the founder of DigitalDevConnect and an active member of the Mobile Dev Memo Slack community.

In September 2019, Apple Arcade launched with great fanfare, as many in the industry viewed it as a way to sustainably offer traditionally premium/pay per download game experiences on mobile devices via a better economic model (subscription). Rumors stated that Apple was investing nearly half a billion dollars to offer around 100 games at launch on Arcade, roughly $5M “all-in” per game, saying themselves that “competing with free is hard, so even the best of [paid] games have only reached a smaller audience.” On the other hand, public market analysts seemed quite bullish on the opportunity with Arcade, with estimates painting that Arcade subscription revenue could reach billions in revenue within just 2 years of launch.

Now in September 2020, one year after launch, what do we really know about Arcade’s performance? To date, Apple has never released any subscriber numbers for Arcade, which is concerning. Additionally, it was a footnote at launch that the service would not be made available in many key Asian countries, including China, one of the biggest, if not the biggest depending on who you ask, mobile gaming markets.

The main driver for this survey was to better understand where Arcade stands in the market, and among gamers, one year in, as I have yet to see such in-depth analysis to date, so I decided to take it upon myself to conduct one. 


For this analysis, I surveyed 2,000 people in the United States over the age of 18 in July 2020, making sure that the age and gender of the survey respondents matched that of the US population.

To complete this survey, I partnered with TapResearch, a leading, innovative market research sample provider and platform leveraging integrations with leading global mobile app & game developers.TapResearch has approached market research from the perspective of maximizing how many people it can reach and therefore chose to embed its survey experience into mobile apps, because mobile apps are the place where the most people spend the most time online, allowing the company to reach over 3 million people each month.

Executive Summary

Below is a summary of the key, overarching themes I took away from analyzing the survey responses:

“Content is king” appears to hold true for game streaming services too

We hear a lot about how exclusive content is essential for pushing new consoles, and the same seems to be true for game streaming services, as gamers reported that aspects of the Apple Arcade game portfolio is the overwhelming driver of conversion to a paying subscription for those on a trial.

However, despite offering over 130 brand new and exclusive (at launch) games on its service, the appeal/relevance of the content on Arcade seems to be a point of concern. Those subscribers considering cancelling their subscription to Arcade cite (problematically) that “there aren’t enough games” on Arcade despite an overwhelming majority of subscribers only having played 10 games or less on the service (less than 10% of the content) even after being a subscriber for 4-6 months.

So while it is possible there is a more simple fix around the content issue, such as better mechanics to surface relevant content for subscribers, it is also possible that a large portion of the content on Arcade is not relevant to most subscribers, a statement that aligns with news earlier this year that Apple was reevaluating/reconsidering some unreleased games for Arcade based on the engagement by game that Apple is seeing across the service. It should be pretty straightforward for Apple to see what genres/categories the most played games on the service fall into and focus on adding new games within those same genres/categories (or adjacent genres/categories) while being conscious not to limit the long term viability of the service (narrowing the appeal) by being too narrow genre wise. It should be noted that without any 3rd party app intelligence service data on the content portfolio of Arcade, it is also impossible for myself or anyone to triangulate engagement of specific games on the service.

Cannibalizing the mobile gaming market vs. growing it

At first look, Arcade seemed to be a service designed to resurrect the premium mobile gaming market via a subscription model. While $0.99 pay to download games were fairly standard early on in the app stores, the race to zero happened pretty quickly as the free to play model took hold of the market once Apple started allowing free apps to offer in-app purchases, making the pay once to download model nearly impossible to build a sustainable business around. Unsurprisingly though, the demographics of Arcade subscribers do align with those of the stereotypical “traditional gamer,” younger and more male of an audience vs. non-subscribers.

While Arcade subscribers are also much more likely to be premium mobile gamers vs. non-subscribers, the data actually more broadly points out that Arcade subscribers are actually just heavier gamers in general, with Arcade subscribers tending to be heavier gamers across all platforms, but also mobile, where they are both heavier downloaders and spenders in free mobile games.

The subscriber population of Arcade is already very heavy on gaming and the concern here is that Apple may just be shifting their heavier gamers (both in usage and spend) over to a flat rate subscription service, which in the end might actually cannibalize the Arcade subscriber audience’s overall spend on the gaming category across Apple’s platforms (and potentially non-Apple platforms), but additional research and analysis would need to be done to better validate this hypothesis.

Lost in the marketing noise of the iOS gaming ecosystem

Nine months post launch, fewer than 10% of Apple gamers could even recall the name of Apple’s gaming subscription service, with a more moderate percentage at least being aware that Apple offered a gaming subscription at all, despite the marketing and promotion of Arcade (including the specific tab within the App Store app).

While it is unknown how much more marketing of Arcade may be able to increase awareness, although it should be noted that millions were invested in the service’s launch, most marketing I saw was more traditional, awareness focused, non-performance focused marketing campaigns (which is not surprising for Apple), while the majority of advertising for games on the App Store is performance focused (click to download). A victim of its own success may best describe Apple in this situation; the sheer scale of the mobile gaming ecosystem on the App Store (from a revenue perspective) leads to 8+ figure millions being deployed in performance marketing by gaming companies each and every day, drowning out Apple’s own marketing and promotion of Arcade.

Interest: lukewarm or better in reality?

While awareness of Arcade was not great, making more prospective Apple gamers aware of Arcade is not an impossible task and financially feasible, especially with the reach and deep pockets of a two trillion dollar company like Apple. The more important question is whether gamers are really interested in a service like Arcade. When presented with the overall value proposition of Arcade and the key features of the service (taken directly from Apple’s own messaging), it wasn’t surprising that only 1 in 5 non-subscribers that are Apple gamers said they would immediately subscribe to such a service, but it was concerning that only 36% of this audience, the prime target for Arcade, stated they had any interest in trying out Arcade.

However, this is where we run into limitations as it relates to market research; while we are able to present and describe the value proposition of Arcade, as well as the list of key features of the service, it is challenging to share in a relevant and appealing way all the content actually on the service through screenshots, game trailers, etc. especially with 100+ games on Arcade. This limitation is exacerbated by the fact that we know from the results of this survey that content is one of the key drivers of the service; so while interest levels from the survey data may be mediocre, it is quite likely interest from the Arcade target audience is higher in reality.

While awareness may be better than the survey results indicate, it is still concerning how high the likelihood for subscribers to cancel is for subscribers regardless of their tenure with Arcade. 78% of active subscribers stated they are likely to cancel in the next 3 months, and although we see likelihood to cancel decline as a subscriber’s tenure extends out, still two-thirds of long tenured subscribers (noting that the service is still new) say they are likely to cancel. In addition, net-promoter scores (NPS) for both active subscribers and those on trials, frankly, are terrible.

So while the research’s measured interest in Arcade may be artificially depressed and there are still plenty of ways for Apple to increase awareness of Arcade, the fact that the likelihood to cancel findings are so high as well as the NPS scores for the service are so weak, it seems that Arcade as it exists currently is not destined for strong long term subscriber retention. While there are no benchmarks for subscriber retention we can easily point to on the gaming side of things, we can look to streaming video as a point of reference:

Source: Parks Associates’

So while we don’t have a sense of churn numbers for Arcade and the service is only 9 months old (at the time of the survey), the directional indicators of the service don’t seem to indicate that Arcade is going to be able to retain subscribers at the same level of many of the leading streaming video services without meaningful further refinement, which based on the survey findings needs to be focused on acquiring more relevant content for subscribers and doing a better job getting the right content in from of the right users, something that it seems Apple is working on, at least around content acquisition.

Price point makes Arcade accessible, but it’s difficult to compete against the (free) market forces Apple created

At $5, Apple’s monthly price point for Arcade on the surface seems like a great value when one considers the one time cost for similar games on PC and console or the monthly subscription free for other popular entertainment subscription services like Spotify or Netflix. We see the accessibility of the $5 price point from the data, in that a similar proportion of Arcade subscribers vs. non-subscribers make under $25K a year, indicating that the $5 price point has done a good job making Arcade accessible not just to those with large disposable incomes.

However the problem comes when looking at the overall mobile gaming ecosystem on iOS, one that Apple helped directly (hardware, app store, developer tools, etc.) and indirectly (free to play, IAP, etc.) create, as the millions of mobile games available to download for free suddenly make the $5 a month price point of Arcade look pretty expensive.

Based on the large scale investment Apple has made in Arcade, which encompasses the 6-7 figure development budgets necessary to create the game experiences meeting the quality and experience thresholds for Arcade, it would likely be difficult for Apple to bring the price point of Arcade down further past $5 a month to potentially reach a large audience, an audience for which most are likely satisfied with all the free to play content available to download. On the other side of the coin, increasing the price of Arcade makes even less sense based on the reasons already mentioned (glut of free mobile games that meet the needs of most mobile gamers). It is therefore not surprising that instead Apple decided to bundle Arcade with Music, TV+, iCloud and more into the Apple One subscription bundles, as it may end up serving as a loss leader to help shift to consumers to these higher price point monthly service bundles who may separately subscribe to Apple Music or TV+.

Greater opportunity to position Arcade for families?

One interesting finding from the survey data was that it appears that Arcade has become a “sleeper” hit for families/those with children. The downside of a mobile gaming market focused on free to play content is that games are full of IAP prompts, recurring subscriptions sign-ups, in-game ads surfacing games or content potentially inappropriate for younger children and more that unsurprisingly can lead to frustration among parents.

The appeal for parents of a gaming service like Arcade that offers high-quality, new, exclusive and appealing content at a single price point each month that children can engage without parents feeling the need to hover over them is a strong value proposition at $5 a month. The fact that Arcade is also available for up to 6 family members on a single $5 a month subscription (no fighting over a single device), offers offline play (long car or plane trips without wi-fi), no ads (no inappropriate game or other content popping up unexpectedly), no IAP (no surprise email receipts from Apple throughout the month, although at least situations like with Tap Fish are generally avoided these days) and that it works with Screen Time/parental controls make Arcade an even stronger sell for parents. and the survey results seem to indicate as such.

While it is obviously not a prerequisite to having children, 60% of Arcade subscribers were married vs. 46% of all other Apple gamers we surveyed. As well, of the top 4 drivers for subscribing to Arcade, the only one not about the games/content was that Arcade “works with Screen Time/parental controls.” Unfortunately further research is needed to dig deeper into how families and children are using Arcade, but some initial survey data points seem to indicate that filling out the Arcade portfolio with even more content relevant to younger gamers and pushing more marketing messaging for Arcade as an affordable, family friendly gaming offering could be a way to meaningfully lift subscribers numbers.

Are data privacy issues overblown?

One interesting finding from this research relates to the hot topic of data privacy on mobile devices. Obviously GDPR, COPPA and other data privacy regulations have been hot topics for a while now, with the next one being the impending changes around IDFA deprecation on Apple devices and the potential destruction that will have on the performance marketing landscape that has been critical to the growth of the mobile gaming industry.

Two of the key features that Apple touted for Arcade in its messaging were both “ad-free” and that “you decide whether to share your personal data,” which seemed like both could be strong selling points for privacy centric gamers. What we saw from the data was that neither was a primary driver of either paying subscribers or those saying they were likely to convert from a trial subscription, ranking near the bottom of the list of drivers for becoming a subscriber.

10 Key Questions About Arcade The Data Helped Answer

1/ Are gamers even aware of Apple Arcade?

9 months after launch of Arcade, in September 2019, a moderate percentage (37%) of US based Apple gamers [1] said they were aware that Apple offered a gaming subscription service, but only 22% of those aware that Apple offers a gaming subscription service could correctly recall its name (Arcade), or 8% of all Apple gamers.

Interestingly, 57% of those mobile gamers who say he or she plays “mostly” or “all” premium games on their mobile device were aware that Apple offered a gaming subscription service vs. 34% of those mobile gamers who say he or she plays “mostly” or “all” games that are free to download.  This finding aligns with some people’s perspective that Arcade is effectively a game subscription service targeted towards those already skewing toward premium/one time download games.

2/ Are gamers even interested in Apple Arcade?

While awareness of Apple Arcade is interesting to quantify from an addressable audience perspective, it is more important from a business perspective to quantify consumer interest in actually “signing on the dotted line,” or subscribing, as it relates to Apple Arcade.

We asked Apple gamers who were not already paying subscribers or on a free trial of Apple Arcade how likely they would be to sign up for either a free trial or paying subscription of Apple Arcade after listing the key features of the service identically to how Apple markets Arcade, i.e. “Exclusive games only available on Apple Arcade” or “Works with Screen Time and parental controls.” For this group, 36% said they were likely (somewhat or very) to participate in a free trial and only 22% said they were likely to sign up for a monthly paying subscription (17% for an annual subscription).

While overall interest in Arcade appears moderate, it is important to note that when presented with the overview of Apple Arcade during the survey, no specifics were provided on the actual games on the service, i.e. descriptions, images, video, animations, etc. as are used to advertise or promote the service, as the such information is challenging to present in a digestible way in an online survey format. This caveat is even more important since those we surveyed already on a trial of Apple Arcade mentioned reasons focused on the content/games on the service as 4 of the top 5 reasons for deciding to sign-up for a trial.

3/ Who is subscribing to Apple Arcade?

From a demographic perspective, we compared the population of active Arcade subscribers vs. all other Apple gamers:

1/ Arcade appears to appeal towards younger and more male Apple gamers:

  • 51% of subscribers are 19-34 vs. 31% of all other Apple gamers.
  • Additionally 94% of subscribers are under 55 vs. only 75% of all other Apple gamers.
  • 63% of subscribers are male vs. 48% of all other Apple gamers.

2/ Despite skewing younger vs. all other Apple gamers, subscribers are more likely to be married, indicating that Arcade subscription may be driven by usage by children:

  • 60% of Arcade subscribers are married vs. only 46% of all other Apple gamers.

3/ As one might expect with a subscription service, those with more stable incomes are likely to be subscribers, however the low monthly price point appears to make the service accessible regardless of actual income level:

  • 61% of subscribers are employed full-time vs. only 40% of all other Apple gamers.  Income wise 25% of subscribers are making over $100K per year vs. only 14% of all other Apple gamers, however about 40% of both subscribers and non-subscribers make less than $25K per year.

While the age and gender skew of Arcade is not necessarily surprising considering the (stereotypical) skew of the traditional gamer profile (younger males), we see interesting differences that deviate from this stereotype such as subscribers skewing more towards being married (potentially indicating the appeal of Arcade to those with children).

It is also good to see that the price point for Arcade is not precluding those who are interested in the service from subscribing based on the income levels of subscribers, as for those with less to spend, the $5 price point per month for a large collection of content is likely a great value.

4/ Why are people subscribing to Apple Arcade?

We asked current paying subscribers of Arcade the reasons they decided to subscribe to Arcade; note that many of the reasons were taken directly from the Arcade marketing materials.  Fairly unsurprisingly, 4 of the top 5 reasons related to the content.  More specifically, the top 2 reasons were related to exclusive content as well as the games being better than other premium (one time fee) games.  Other top reasons were that the content on Arcade is better than the free games available for download as well as just the volume of content available on Arcade.

Interestingly, Screen Time integration/parental controls was the 3rd most selected reason, indicating that there is some segment of subscribers likely subscribing to offer their children a high-quality, but controlled gaming experience, which is also supported by the subscriber population skewing more towards being married (vs. all other Apple gamers).

We also asked those respondents currently on a trial of Arcade the same question; what were all the reasons that they decided to sign up for a trial of Arcade?

Overall, it seems like the content is what really is pushing “trial-ers” into subscribers, as while content is important to those trialing Arcade, it becomes much more important for those that stick around and convert to paid subscribers.

In addition, it seems like Screen Time/parental controls are an underestimated feature of Arcade, as the proportion of subscribers considering it a key driver of subscribing is more than double that of “trial-ers.” The contrast indicates that Apple may want to explore more aggressively pushing Arcade as a great offering for children/families and adjust the game portfolio appropriately.

One point to note based on current industry issues around data privacy, advertising and the impending IDFA changes, is that the lack of ads in games on Arcade as well as the offer of more data control (for users) appear to be secondary drivers of interest in Arcade for both subscribers and those who signed up for a free trial. Considering Arcade subscribers already tend to be heavy users of free mobile games (looking at usage, download and spend behavior), games for which most, if not all, are using heavy analytics, ad monetization and more, the lower focus on in-game ads and analytics/data sharing as it relates to drivers of Arcade is not surprising.

5/ Are subscribers new to gaming?

From a gaming perspective, we compared the population of active Arcade subscribers vs. all other Apple gamers across various gaming behavioral questions:

Arcade subscribers are more likely to spend on IAP in free mobile games:

85% of Arcade subscribers have made an in-app purchase on mobile in the past 30 days vs. only 43% of non-subscribers (among those who play free mobile games).

Arcade subscribers are much heavier downloaders of mobile games:

29% of Arcade subscribers have downloaded more than 6 mobile games in the past week vs. only 11% of non-subscribers.

While still low, Arcade subscribers are more likely to purchase premium mobile gamers compared to all other Apple games:

15% of Arcade subscribers are playing (mostly or almost all) pay to download mobile games vs. 4% of non-subscribers.

Arcade subscribers are generally much heavier gamers:

55% of Arcade subscribers are playing games on their phone or tablet a few times a day (vs. only 26% of non-subscribers) as well as 48% are playing games on their PC or console a few times a day (vs. only 10% of non-subscribers).

Compared to all other Apple gamers, Arcade subscribers tend to be heavier gamers across all platforms, but also mobile, where they are heavier downloaders, more likely to have spent in free mobile games as well as heavy purchasers of premium mobile games.

The subscriber population of Arcade is already very heavy gaming wise and the concern here is that Apple may just be shifting their heavier gamers (both in usage and spend) over to a flat rate subscription service which in the end actually cannibalizes the Arcade subscriber audience’s spend on gaming across Apple’s platforms (and potentially non-Apple platforms), but additional research and analysis would need to be done to validate this hypothesis.

In summary, on the surface it does not appear that Arcade is bringing in those who are new to gaming.

6/ Are subscribers going to stick around?

Unfortunately the survey data is not optimistic around subscriber churn, with 78% of active subscribers stating that they are likely to cancel their subscription in the next 3 months. Unsurprisingly, if we look at subscriber likelihood to cancel split by subscriber tenure, we see a slight decline in the likelihood to cancel as subscribers of Arcade remain on the service longer, with 66% of subscribers with a tenure of 6-9 months stating they are likely to cancel vs. 88% of those that have been a paying subscriber for 1 month or less.

Next we looked at why subscribers stated he or she was likely to cancel their subscription in the next 3 months. While there wasn’t an overwhelming reason for being likely to cancel, the availability of free games for their device as well as the perception that the subscription price of Arcade is too high were the two most frequently chosen options.

Additionally, if we look at reasons for potential cancellation of Arcade by subscriber tenure, we see directionally that “there aren’t enough games” and that the “games offered on Apple Arcade don’t justify the subscription cost” are more frequently selected. There seems to be a disconnect between the content offered on Arcade and the content subscribers want, as despite there being over 100 games, as we see in the next section, most longer tenured subscribers haven’t played even 40% of the games on the service, indicating that while there is large number of games on Arcade, a large portion are not appealing or interesting to subscribers. This finding also aligns with the recent news that Apple was terminating some Apple Arcade games in development based on learnings from game play numbers on Arcade to date.

7/ Arcade has a ton of games available; are subscribers taking advantage?

Arcade touts “100+” games, but are users really taking advantage of the breadth and depth of content on the service?  It doesn’t appear so.

We asked both those who are subscribers and those on the 30 day free trial of Arcade their best estimate as to how many of the games on Arcade they have played at least once. For subscribers, only 35% reported playing more than 10 of the games on the service, and for trial-ers, only 24% reported playing more than 10 of the games on the service.

It’s not surprising that when we look at those on a free trial, which is only 30 days, they have played fewer games vs. subscribers, as it is possible subscribers have been subscribed to Arcade for up to 9 months at the time of the survey.

As well, if we slice the total Arcade games played by how long subscribers have been subscribed, we see the anticipated correlation between games played and subscription length, with more than half of those having been a subscriber for 7-9 months having played more than 20 of the games on Arcade at least once.

As time passes, we would hope to see the self-reported average number of Arcade games played at least once by subscribers continue to increase (more time on the service = more time to try more games) as the time from the launch of the service in September 2019 increases and in following, the average subscription lifetime increases.  However it is concerning that 64% of paying subscribers say they have only been subscribers for 3 months or less, as that indicates a churn problem.

Additionally, based on the total games played data above, the recent news from Bloomberg previously mentioned that Apple appears to be closely monitoring player “engagement” with titles across the service and scaling back on games Apple sees as not being a good fit for the platform makes sense in general, but also considering that users seem to only be engaging with 10-20% of the content in the portfolio.

8/ Is Arcade effectively a mobile focused offering?

One of the highlighted aspects of Apple Arcade is that all the games can be played across any of the 5 main Apple device types (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or a Mac laptop/desktop computer), as well as offering the ability to “start playing on one device, continue on another device”.

First looking at the chart above, we can see that nearly 2/3rds of subscribers have only ever played an Apple Arcade game on one of the 5 supported device types, so cross-device play does not appear to be a key feature of Apple Arcade.

Diving further into the data, we can see pretty clearly that Apple Arcade is to date really a mobile focused gaming service, despite the ability to play on Apple TV or a Mac laptop/desktop, as 60% of subscribers have only ever played an Apple Arcade game on an iPhone or iPad.

The finding that Apple Arcade is a mobile focused service is unsurprising considering the overall share of video game revenue across mobile, PC and console globally, as well as just the sheer scale of iOS mobile gaming revenue.

9/ What is the revenue opportunity for Apple around Arcade?

The (multi) million dollar question is how much is Apple making on Arcade. First, it is key to note that this survey was only among Apple gamers in the United States, and with Apple Arcade being available in 150+ countries [2] means that it is out of the scope of this survey to even begin to estimate recurring global subscription revenue for Apple Arcade.

So while it is out of the scope of this survey research to try to accurately estimate the recurring revenue from Arcade, whether globally or even just in the United States, we can share some adjacent revenue metrics culled from the survey data.

From the self-reported survey data, we know both the subscription type (monthly or annual) as well as how many months monthly subscribers have been subscribers.  From this data we are able to build the below data table which indicates that 9 months into the life of the service, the average lifetime revenue of a paying Arcade subscriber is $24.82, or about 5 months at the $4.99 monthly price point.

Next, based on NPD’s “Deconstructing Mobile and Tablet Gaming (Free Version)” report via the IGDA, there are 214.1M active mobile gamers in the USA & Canada.  Since we are only looking ar Arcade from the lens of the United States, we’ll adjust the 214.1M based on the population of the United States vs. Canada (329.9M vs. 37.7), such that 89.7% of the 214.1M mobile gamers are estimated to be from the United States, or 192.1M mobile gamers.

From NPD’s research, we also know that 39% of US & Canadian mobile gamers play primarily on iOS devices, and another 11% primarily play with an iPhone or iPad and another non-iOS device, meaning that we can estimate 50% of the 192.1M estimated mobile gamers in the United States, or 96.1M [3], are playing on iOS devices and are therefore are the majority of the addressable audience for Apple Arcade

Of the 96.1M potential Arcade audience in the United States, what % will convert to a paying Apple Arcade subscriber?  Here we can only make an educated guess that the conversion rate will be quite low considering all the free content available for mobile gaming and because the service is still new despite being 9 months since launch.

So based on rough estimates, Apple Arcade revenue may break into the 9 figures in revenue for the United States alone 9 months in based on some loose extrapolation, and if we give the US only revenue estimate a 1.5x boost to estimate revenue from non-USA markets where Arcade is available (remember that Arcade is not available in China, one of the largest mobile gaming markets), without a significant lift in subscriber LTV, mainly driven by better subscriber tenure, the forecasts provided by industry analysts, such as the chart from HSBC below seem quite far fetched 1 year after launch at $1B.

I must note additionally that we are only estimating subscriber LTV 9 months after launch, and obviously as more time passes, subscriber tenure will likely grow (and hopefully in following subscriber LTV), as current subscribers are able to have longer tenures in general as time passes.

Source: “Apple spends hundreds of millions on Arcade video game service,” Financial Times.

10/ Are subscribers going to help spread the word about Arcade?

A Net-Promoter Score is defined by Wikipedia as a “measure of customer satisfaction,” and is commonly used to benchmark the health of a company, or in this case a consumer facing service.  The Net-Promoter Score (NPS) can range from -100 to +100.

In the survey we measured the NPS for both current paying Arcade subscribers as well as active trial-ers. For subscribers, the NPS score was +16 and for trial-ers it was -11. Surveymonkey lists the median NPS score for “consumer goods and services” as +50, with the start of the bottom quartile (25%) starting +11.

Even for those unfamiliar with NPS, it is pretty clear to see that Arcade’s scores for both groups are quite weak. The low score aligns well with the large proportion of subscribers saying they are likely to cancel their subscription; while gamers have interest in Arcade initially, their interest is not strong enough to both keep them around or make them very likely to recommend Arcade to others.

Josh Burns founded DigitalDevConnect to partner with game developers, game publishers, and service providers focused on mobile gaming to support key business areas including strategy, market intelligence, marketing, game publishing, business operations, product management and business development. Previously, he worked at 6waves, leading the US product management team for one of the largest publishers of games for Facebook, iOS & Android, where he managed & launched over 100+ apps including those from top developers like Kabam, Nexon & Atari, as well as games based on IP from Eminem, Disney, Dungeons & Dragons, Starz & BBC. Prior, he worked at Electronic Arts in EA’s division, supporting one of the largest casual games websites focusing on product management, customer insights, new platforms, market strategy & analytics. More details at

[1]  Apple gamers are defined as someone who has played a video game in the last 12 months on a Apple TV, Apple desktop or laptop computer, an iPhone or an iPad.

[2] Notable exceptions include China, Macau and Hong Kong.

[3] It is important to remember that Apple Arcade supports both Mac laptop and desktop computers as well as Apple TV, so this 96.1M estimate for just iOS mobile gamers excludes non-mobile Apple gamers, and therefore underestimates the addressable audience for Arcade in the United States.