Exposure to electronic game apps dependent on subscriptions is driving new offerings such as Apple Arcade and the Google Play Pass. A startup called GameClub also entered the mix last fall to test the idea that subscriptions could also generate new revenue streams for some of the greatest hits of mobile gaming. At the launch, the $5 per month subscription service provided by GameClub was only available on iOS, offering access to over 100 titles that saw a collective 100 million lifetime download. The service is available to Android users today, with a catalog that has grown to more than 120 classic titles now.
Game Club’s range of games doesn’t suit this current world, because they weren’t the sort of in-app transactions and advertisements to monetize customers. As GameClub co-founder and CEO Dan Sherman explained at the time of launch, the free-to-play model only fits with a couple of genres, to the exclusion of other genres that the company is seeking to get back — like action, adventure, arcade, tower defense and more.
GameClub essentially provides games that can be finished, rather than games designed on endless replay loops. The games run online and offline, which do not have any in-app transactions or commercials.
The collection on iOS has expanded to a total of 87 titles. There are 40 launchings on Android, but the company’s releasing more titles so it’s getting parity with iOS. Every week there is a new game added. “Subscription is a safer and simpler way of playing sports, avoiding the intrusive advertising and loot boxes that characterize free-to-play,” Sherman said in a launch speech. “We are expanding our offering to provide gamers everywhere, on almost any mobile phone or tablet, with affordable, skill-based entertainment, “he added.
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Eli Hodapp, the recent editor-in-chief of the mobile game platform Touch Arcade, continues to curate the service’s catalog. Its top headlines include Breach & Clear, Paint it Back, Spider: Shrouded Moon Rite, Legendary Wars, Monster Wars, Flick Fishing, Pocket RPG, Cursed Treasure 2 and more.
These titles after cutting off deals are not just redistributing by GameClub. Instead, the development team at GameClub will also upgrade the initial code of the software and make the games look and sound new — for example, by adapting them to the current screen sizes and resolutions.
Although Apple bans iOS apps that sell other apps, because the GameClub hub isn’t its app store, GameClub has been allowed to operate on iOS. Rather, iOS users will download the individual GameClub apps directly from the App Store, where they have their lists.
The probe ultimately concluded with no clarification, says Sherman. He states that the approval process for GameClub was simpler after Apple Arcade launched, but also claims that GameClub was never listed on the App Store, possibly because of its competing relationship with Apple Arcade.