Apple’s VP Phil Schiller has revealed that the company will begin to allow video game developers to offer titles as a subscription service later this year.
In an interview with The Verge, Schiller said that the company is to start opening up subscriptions to all categories this Autumn, incluing games, something only previously reserved to a select few categories such as news, dating apps, cloud services, and audio/video streaming apps.
What this means for mobile gaming is that developers can begin to offer subscriptions to their games, rather than requiring players to pay up front or offering in-app purchases. This would offer a more familiar payment method for apps, usually reserved for PC MMOs.
This shift will also come with a new revenue share with Apple. Currently game revenue is split 70/30 with 30% of sales going to Apple. With the new subscription model however, the split would shift to 85/15 once the customer stays subscribed for longer than a year. This new split will come into effect as of June 13 for non-gaming based apps which already have users subscribed for a year.
“The developers who do have access to the subscriptions have been very happy with them,” Schiller said of apps that currently use the model. “The system works really cleanly and nicely.”
As mobile phones become much more powerful, the more diverse and in-depth games can become. Already there are a ton of pretty robust MMOs available on the App Store, and the ability to offer a premium subscription to users would allow developers to further develop their game rather than relying on in-app purchases.