Did you think Apple Arcade games would stick around forever? So did we! 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 be forgiven for assuming that only when games get really old and aren’t 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 leave the service in the near future, though an exact date is not given:
Projection: First Light
Atone: Heart of the Elder Tree
Over the Alps
Towaga: Among Shadows
Dead End Job
Don’t Bug Me!
BattleSky Brigade: Harpooner
In a support document, Apple explained what happens when a game leaves Apple Arcade:
Games might sometimes leave Apple Arcade. If you download a game before it leaves Arcade, you can play the game for at least two weeks after. If you try to launch an Arcade game that is no longer playable, you receive a No Longer Available message.
After a game leaves Arcade, the game developer might choose to make their game available on the App Store. These games might vary from the Arcade version. If the developer makes their game available on 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 that explained what is going on: When Apple Arcade launched in September 2019, Apple apparently signed three-year deals with some developers. Not all of those contracts are being renewed, and thus the games will leave the service (presumably in September of this year). Macrumors doesn’t say whether the decisions to leave the store were made by Apple or the developers.
Developers are free to release the games to the App Store as soon as they leave Apple Arcade, according to MacRumors’ source, which they will presumably do, but they’ll have a new bundle ID. It’s not clear if saved progress will transfer over, or if developers can make a sort of save transfer process.
We assume 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 a month and boasts more than 200 games.