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Apple’s new gaming service might be announced Monday, and it’s reportedly not what we thought

Published Mar 23rd, 2019 2:52PM EDT

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The focus at Apple’s much-anticipated media event set for Monday will be largely on the company’s updated Apple News service as well as its plans for original TV shows offered through a Netflix-like package available exclusively to Apple device owners. We may, however, also get fresh details about the iPhone maker’s planned game subscription bundle, for which new details have emerged over the weekend suggesting that Apple doesn’t intend to use the gaming package as a way to directly compete with rival offerings like Google Stadia.

Bloomberg is out with a new report suggesting that Apple may discuss its gaming-related plans as soon as Monday’s media event, though it might also wait to unveil the package at WWDC in June. Either way, it seems what the company is leaning towards is a kind of paid games-focused subscription to the App Store, excluding free-to-download games as well as games that allow for in-app purchases.

Apple’s plans here have been referred to as a kind of Netflix-for-games, but based on Bloomberg’s reporting it sounds like Apple’s offering will work more like Spotify. The way it would work is Apple would collect the recurring revenue from the gaming bundle and then split it among participating game developers based on how much time users spent playing their respective games, per this new report.

All that said, even if we do get a peek at this bundle on Monday the lion’s share of attention is still no doubt going to fall on Apple’s video plans. As we and others have reported, Apple has been hiring A-list Hollywood talent and commissioning TV projects from the likes of everyone from Oprah to Steven Spielberg and Reese Witherspoon. Likewise, Apple has been assembling a team of Hollywood veterans who know how to gin up Oscar and Emmy interest for awards season.

Apple’s move to these kinds of premium, subscription packages is an outgrowth of the company putting a new emphasis on services as a way to mitigate any hardware sales slowdown. Services like these and others are a way to keep Apple users tied to their devices — and for the company to tap into new and potentially lucrative revenue streams that it didn’t have before.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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