When you think of gaming, you probably don’t immediately think of Apple or Netflix, yet the two companies have ideal services. With Apple Arcade and Netflix Games, they get in each other’s way more than you probably think.
Apple Arcade is Apple’s subscription gaming service and has been around for a while now. For $4.99 a month, you get access to timeless classics and special originals. Netflix Games could learn a lot from the platform in that regard, or is the service doing very well?
Netflix vs. Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade is getting more and more extensive. There are now 200 games on the service, and there are only more to come. Whereas Xbox and PlayStation focus their subscription services on their own consoles, Apple does so primarily on mobile games.
Apple therefore had no competition for a long time. Xbox Game Pass was available via cloud gaming, of course, but a service that really focused on mobile games was not there yet. At least until about a year ago. Then Netflix announced that it was also going to offer games in subscription form.
Like Apple, Netflix is anything but sitting still in this area. The streaming service takes this line of business extremely seriously. In addition to the 35 existing games on offer, it also acquired a studio last month. Obviously, our big red friend wants to produce its own titles as well.
Netflix Games (Image: Netflix)
A sleeping giant slowly awakening?
Netflix has more than 220 million subscribers, making it a lot bigger than Apple Arcade and, say, Apple TV+ combined. Yet there is still a portion of users who do not know how to find the games. So there is still quite a bit of potential. The big question is why they want to pay for mobile games when they can also get them for free.
For Netflix, there is no barrier on iOS. All the games are just downloadable on the iPhone and iPad. So it seems to be competing directly. There is of course a nice price difference associated with that battle, but Netflix obviously takes a different approach.
Right now, Apple Arcade does have a better library in terms of games. So is Fantasian, from the makers of Final Fantasy, which single-handedly takes the platform to the next level. But games like Sayonara Wildhearts and Pocket Build+ also play wonderfully.
Arcade (Image: Apple)
Apple Arcade still ahead
Yet Netflix also has better and better games. A game like Moonlighter is a real delight. Moreover, Netflix does have a really big advantage over Apple Arcade. It obviously has rights to big-name series. The company can also use these for games. For example, there are already two Stranger Things games.
So Netflix certainly has potential to capture quite a bit of the mobile gaming market, but so far Apple Arcade has a big head start on gaming on the iPhone and iPad. In any case, the streaming service ensures that Apple cannot just sit still. Thus, competition provides even more enjoyment for gamers.