In an expansion of its magazine and newspaper publishing subscription models, Apple has now begun allowing publishers to offer a subscription service to users, offering them access to a bunch of games for one price, reports Bloomberg.
The program is being pioneered by Big Fish Games, who is offering dozens of its App Store titles to users for a $6.99 monthly fee. Big Fish will now give users unlimited access to its games like Mystery Case Files and Mahjong Towers once they’ve paid the monthly fee.
The app will be for iPad only initially and will require a WiFi connection as the games will be ‘streamed’ to a user’s device from the company’s data center.
Big Fish founder Paul Thelen says that “this is the first time that the technology has matched the business model,” and hopes to capitalize on the subscription model, which hasn’t always worked out on other platforms.
Big Fish will offer a free version of the app with ads and a 30-minute playtime limit and will offer a full subscription for $4.99 initially, with the bump to $6.99 as it gets more titles live in the store. It wasn’t an easy job to convince Apple that the subscription model was a valid one either. Thelen says that Apple needed to be “convinced there’s a reason to charge customers every month” and that the approval process took longer than usual.
Thelen says that an Android version of the app should be available by the first quarter of next year.
Now that Big Fish has paved the way, we should begin to see other companies take advantage of this. It seems that it would be a good opportunity for publishers that have a bevy of casual games that don’t sell especially well on their own.