Why I Love Apple Arcade — But Won’t Develop Games For It Yet

Veteran game developer and the creative mind behind CryptoKitties explains why Apple Arcade is great for players, but he still has questions about the business model.

Mack Flavelle
Published in
6 min readOct 30, 2019



This September, Apple released Arcade, its subscription gaming service, with the release of the new mobile OS update iOS 13.

I never update quickly. Typically, it takes me probably six months. I’ve never liked upgrading tech. It creates a surface area for things to go wrong. There’s never a compelling reason to do it.

But this time was different. Arcade was the carrot that would make this donkey march, and so after only a month, I upgraded.

It’s been a magical journey since. Pull up a chair and let me tell you about Apple Arcade.

The experience

After the bullshit of upgrading the OS, I opened the app store first thing. After all, I was here for Arcade. I was surprised to find that it makes up a whole new category of app at the top-level navigation of the app store. This wasn’t a buried experiment, like Apple’s bizarre follies with iMessage stickers and games. The company appears to be serious about Arcade.

Once in the Arcade section, I found 100 games to start with. Each one looks like it was crafted with care. From intense-looking PvP battle games, to epic RPGs, to carefully distilled puzzle games, and everything in between, it feels like they have an expertly curated selection.

+1 points for allowing a rewarding meta-experience.

The first thing I did was quickly browse through the list of 100 games, which was a pleasant activity in itself. It felt like stepping into a restaurant where everything on the menu sounded delicious. My mouth was watering.

I downloaded 11 games and made a new folder on my phone. Somehow the arcade folder feels like something special, almost its own game console, living on my device. +1 points for allowing a rewarding meta-experience.

Every time I open an Arcade game, the first screen is the Arcade loading screen: white text on…