All in on Apple Arcade? This top gaming CEO says committing now is risky

Exclusivity requirements and questions about compensation are some of the reasons why Arkadium co-founder and CEO Jessica Rovello says developers shouldn’t go all-in on Apple Arcade just yet.

“As a developer, you've got a huge amount of options of where you can place your games,” Rovello said in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman on "The Claman Countdown." “And anytime a new platform comes out or a new way to distribute games comes out, you're kind of taking a chance because you don't know if it's gonna pay off for you or not.”

Apple launched its gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, on Thursday for $4.99 a month. The service reportedly offers approximately 100 new games and was first announced at an event in March, along with Apple TV+.

Apple Arcade shown on multiple Apple devices.

Rovello, whose company offers over 300 highly popular mobile games, has chosen not to put any Arkadium games on the new platform yet.

“Just because Apple is behind [it], it doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna be a success for the developers who have provided their games to the service,” she said.

Gameplay via Apple Arcade.

Rovello said Apple hasn’t publicly announced details of how developers will be paid, or what compensation will be based on, whether it will be game downloads, time spent playing or another measure.

“All we know is that you have to be exclusive, for the most part, to that platform, meaning you can't distribute your game to other places,” she told Claman.

Gameplay via Apple Arcade.

Arkadium games are available on almost every platform, so the company would have to decide if it’s financially worthwhile to pull them from all other providers and have its games only accessible through Apple.

Rovello said when a new platform comes out, “we often take kind of a wait-and-see approach,” which is what her company plans on doing in this case as well.

She did praise Apple for launching a mainstream, paid gaming platform because “people are not used to paying for games.”

Gameplay via Apple Arcade.

Rovello said because of this, developers are forced to insert ads or in-game purchase opportunities, a practice that “really disrupts the play experience.”


“I appreciate that [Apple is] trying to at least move consumers towards the idea that paying for games is a good thing,” Rovello said.