Subscription Model based businesses have been there for a while now, starting with books and documents in your local library. This industry has evolved so much in the last couple of decades, especially after the digitalization of the world. If we consider the world of the internet, Netflix is considered the pivot point of the rise of the Subscription Model integrated with a digital business.
Netflix’s ‘all you can consume’ based subscription service has managed to appeal to a large consumer base. If we look at the gaming industry and what it is up to regarding subscription services, the two major companies that come to mind are Microsoft and Sony, with gaming base subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus, respectively.
Nintendo also offers its own subscription service called Nintendo Online, which provides a library of games playable on Nintendo Switch. Well, you are wrong, at least according to Miles Jacobson, if you consider any of the above gaming companies the biggest subscription service provider.
In a recent interview with iMore about an upcoming game, Football Manager Touch 2023 by Sports Interactive on Apple Arcade. When Miles Jacobson, director of Sports Interactive, was asked about his expectations about how many people the game can reach through subscription services like Apple Arcade. In his answer, Miles claimed a very interesting thing, saying that he has been told that Apple Arcade has a 9-figure consumer base.
So we had a new perspective on looking at the way that we look at making games for platforms like the Apple platforms and the consoles that we’re working on. But we also have a team of people in America who are getting the game and going, ‘What the hell are we meant to do?’ And everyone in Europe knows the game really well. We all know that when we boot up the game, you know what we need to do. But one of the things we’re most proud of, and it’s a weird thing to be proud of, is actually the onboarding and the way that we’re going to be able to reach out to this new audience via Apple Arcade. I’m told nine-figure subscribers, I have no idea if those numbers are right or not.“
However, as implied at the end, he is also unsure if the figure he has been told is accurate. And if it is anywhere near the claimed 9-figure, Apple Arcade obliterates its competitors like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo in this business.
To better compare the subscription bases of these services, @DeekeTweak shared a chart representing the number of consumers all the significant subscription services hold and their comparison with Apple Arcade and its claimed 9-figure consumer base.
If figures provided to https://t.co/deSbpWUhp8 are correct, then Apple Arcade is the king of video game subscriptions.
Context: Switch Online & PS Plus are locked to consoles for dedicated play, whereas Game Pass offers PC play.
PS Plus streams to PC and GP streams to mobiles pic.twitter.com/sowoAdXST5
— Derek Strickland (@DeekeTweak) November 10, 2022
Xbox Game Pass
Despite the lowest subscriber count, the most popular among all of them is the Xbox Game Pass, which slowly has turned itself into ‘all you can consume’ based subscription service; not only that, it also offers some excellent AAA day-one releases at very economical rates starting at $9.99/ month for Gold tier game pass while the ultimate tier will cost you $14.99/ month with hundreds of high-quality games and additional perks.
It can be accessed on your Xbox consoles and your PC via Game Pass PC at the same rates. It was also revealed recently amid the ongoing investigation of the Activision Blizzard deal that Xbox has made over $2.9 Billion on Xbox Game Pass sales in 2021, which makes up the 18% of the total revenue Xbox generated in 2021.
Sony is considered as the biggest gaming console company in the world due to the number of new consoles they sell each year. Their PlayStation Plus is still behind Apple Arcade after this recent claim.
However, PlayStation Plus takes the lead on Xbox Game Pass with a subscriber base of 45.4 Million, and it comes in three plans; PlayStation Plus Essential is the most basic one at $9.99/ month, while the above two tiers; PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Essential costs around $14.99 and $17.99 with added benefits according to their prices which you can check here.
All three of these plans give you access to an extensive library of existing PlayStation games and new first party PlayStation games to enjoy on your console.
Apple Arcade was launched in 2019 and has a $4.99/ month plan that gives you access to premium games on all your Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and Apple TV.
Subscription Services Growth
Subscription services are growing exponentially over the years. As reported by Statista, In 2025, video game subscriptions are projected to maintain a double-digit annual growth rate at a 14.3% market revenue increase per year.
Gaming subscriptions are one of the fastest-growing gaming segments, outpacing video game purchases and in-game purchases in terms of annual growth rate. In 2021, revenue from video game subscription services like PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Apple Arcade is estimated to reach 7.5 billion U.S. Dollars.
As for the claimed subscriber count for Apple Arcade, it would be wise to take this one with a grain of salt as these are not official figures by Apple and can have many factors affecting this, even if it is true. Aside from that, what are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comment section below.