Did you think Apple Arcade games would last forever? We also! When the service launched several years ago, Apple really made no mention of limited availability or that games would ever leave the service. One could assume that only when games get really old and not updated to support new mandatory iOS requirements would they be removed from the Apple Arcade service.
It turns out that’s not the case. Apple has added a “Leaving Arcade Soon” section to the Apple Arcade tab in the App Store. It lists 15 games that will apparently be leaving the service in the near future, though no exact date is given:
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In a support document, Apple explained what happens when a game leaves Apple Arcade:
Games can sometimes leave Apple Arcade. If you download a game before it leaves Arcade, you can play the game for at least two more weeks after that. If you try to start an Arcade game that can no longer be played, you will receive the message No longer available.
After a game leaves Arcade, the game developer can choose to make their game available in the App Store. These games may differ from the Arcade version. If the developer makes their game available in the App Store and allows you to load your saved progress, you can pick up where you left off in the Arcade version.
MacRumors spoke to a source who explained what’s going on: When Apple Arcade launched in September 2019, Apple apparently signed three-year deals with some developers. Not all of those contracts will be renewed, and so the games will leave the service (presumably in September this year). Macrumors does not say whether the decisions to leave the store were made by Apple or the developers.
Developers are free to release the games on the App Store once they leave Apple Arcade, according to the MacRumors source, which they presumably will, but they will have a new bundle ID. It’s not clear if saved progress will be transferred, or if developers can perform some sort of save transfer process.
We assume that more games will be added to the “Leaving Arcade Soon” list in the coming weeks and months as more contracts meet their three-year commitment. apple arcade costs $4.99 per month and features over 200 games.