Apple to allow monthly game subscriptions, starting with Big Fish’s iPad games

Apple will soon be adding iOS Gaming to its subscriptions model on the App Store. Big Fish, known for their popular hidden object games (among other genres) on the iPhone and iPad, will be the first publisher to be offering a monthly subscription to their iPad games.

When Apple introduced its subscription feature earlier this year, Paul Thelen, the founder of Big Fish, saw it as an opportunity to offer an “all-you-can-eat” service. That lets players jump in and out of different games without having to make a bunch of downloads. While game-subscription services have a mixed record of success, the popularity of the iPad, along with the easy payment method provided by Apple’scApp Store, will make the offering attractive, Thelen said.

Dozens of Big Fish games (ie Mystery Case Files and Mahjong Towers Touch) will be offered through a single app for a monthly fee of $6.99, though the catch is that the games will require WiFi access, as they’re streamed to the iPad, rather than downloaded in their entirety. The subscription will initially cost $4.99, and will increase to the $6.99 price point early next year after more titles have been added. As well, a free version of the service will be available, one that allows 30 minutes of play each day and will include ads. And like the newspaper and magazine subscription models, Apple will be taking a 30% cut every month. Needless to say, iOS developers and publishers – both big and small – will be keeping a close eye on how popular this will be among iOS gamers.

[Bloomberg via Gizmodo]

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