back to article First bite as Apple fishes for iPad games subscriptions

The first subscription game service for the iPad has been approved by Apple, allowing iPad owners to pay $7 a month for access to games from Big Fish. Seattle-based Big Fish is the first company to take the Cupertino shilling and agree to hand over 30 per cent of its subscription revenue every month, Bloomberg reports, but for …


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  1. Buzzword

    Games only? Or business apps too?

    There must be a market for selling subscriptions to business apps for iOS too. and friends. Maybe they don't want to fork over 30% for their premium services.

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "The mechanism is similar to the popular desktop-games service Steam"

    Apart from Steam doesn't use a subscription-based model, doesn't require internet connectivity when taken offline, and games aren't hosted in the cloud with the desktop machine doing rendering and user input, bang on.

    1. TakeTheSkyRoad

      "doesn't require internet connectivity when taken offline"

      You're still screwed if you loose internet unexpectedly.

      My broadband has been down for weeks now (thanks BT) and in the whole time I've been unable to play any Steam games. Sure I can use my mobile or 3G dongle to get internet but Steam is blocked so I can't login to "go offline"..... *sigh*

      (yeah, I felt like a rant :)

    2. ninjatjj

      +1, the author doesn't seem to understand how Steam works, none-the-less, interesting article

    3. James O'Brien
      Thumb Up

      Your forgetting Dan

      That Steam also has been around the block more than BigFish has been when it comes to gaming, has a tried and true method of distribution, better sales, need I keep going? Steam in this case is a far better alternative than say BigFish....Hell Gamtap is a better alternative than BigFish is and THAT follow a subscription service....

  3. Bruce_A


    Surely this is closer to OnLive rather than Steam? Steam is a download service, Onlive is remote cloud gaming.

  4. Absent

    "75 per cent of its players are women aged over 30"

    Big Fish are big in the point and click 'hidden object' genera, very popular with women. In fact one of the best known dodgy sites for these is run by a woman called Wendy.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well Blomberg says so

    Where's the news from apple about the change to it's App Store policy?

    This may just be a rumour

  6. Asgard

    Subscription gaming like this Big Fish approach is an attempt at lock in. They want to corral their customers away from their competitors.

    I'm sure that's a dream come true for many control freak bosses, as is their endless need to maintain control via cloud gaming.

    But I find all that control freakery very offputting. I don't want my gaming ruled by the control freaks and I don't want my games streaming all data to and from a server, plus eating my bandwidth and suffering latency and failing whenever I can't get Internet access on my phone. (For example, try sitting on a train going through a tunnel with this cloud gaming. It would be instant fail at just the kind of time a lot of people want to play a game on their phone).

    Plus I want to be free to choose from all games available to play for my phone, not limited to some control freak company's own small walled garden (within an already walled garden!).

    Plus if I buy a game, I have that game to own, as it should be. Whereas with this cloud gaming, if they take the game off their servers, that's it, I've lost that game.

    Yet for all these down sides they expect us to pay them $84 per year!.

    The control freaks never learn, they just think the answer is adding ever more ways to control. :(

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    App was available but now gone.

    At the time of posting, no word from the Dev or Apple. Perhaps Apple realised that it violated policy...

  8. Chad H.

    For those of you who winged about Apples 30% cut of subscriptions

    This app highlights exactly why they do it.

    If Apple took a lower cut of subscriptions - or as some of you have suggested none at all - Developers would simply make the apps free and require you to subscribe to get any use out of it.

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