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App Store Gaming Facts You Might Not Know

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Apple introduces Apple Arcade

In March, Apple announced that Apple Arcade - a game streaming service for iOS - will launch in Fall/Autumn 2019. Recently, we had the opportunity to find out a bit more about how they were preparing for this big entry into the mobile gaming world.

Here are a number of exciting (and we found - surprising) gaming stuff you can find on the App Store.

1) App Store Today tab and Games tab

What's cool about these 2 tabs (compared to a standard Android Play Store) is how users get a more 'customised' experience. For example, Apple has a Southeast Asia team that selects new games or games popular in the region and recommends it to us.

These recommendations are supposedly carefully selected and an app can't 'buy' its way to that page. So if you're always open to trying new apps or games, then you'll definitely enjoy the Today tab. It's a place for you to explore cool new stuff or hidden gems.

Play Store

The Android phone we have doesn't have that big of a screen.

App Store

This iPhone model is the iPhone XR

Apple Games Tab

If, however, you are sure of what you want (and don't want any recommendations), then the more functional-focused Play Store might do just fine. This feature might not be for everyone.

That's totally fine. We suspect that these features (or the technologies behind them) might be available in Apple Arcade. So in a way, this could be the beta testing of whether users like how and what Apple is suggesting.

2) AR technology in games

There are actually over 3000 AR apps and games on the App Store! Since 2017, Apple has been introducing ARKits that have helped developers create amazing apps and games that make use of the technology.

To access these games, you can head to the games and/or apps tab on the App Store and scroll down to 'Top Categories.' From there, click on AR Games or AR Apps and the world is now your oyster!

Angry Birds AR

A screenshot we took of Angry Birds AR. We're impressed by the details as well as how smooth the game runs.

This is a fun, exciting, and different way to enjoy apps and games. The practical uses of this technology might not be common yet, but this AR technology can add that extra colour and lifelikeness to our daily grind. For now, you can use this for many laughs...

Perhaps dragons like these will become more common:

esports augmented reality
3) They work pretty closely with local game developers

We were up close and personal with 3 separate SEA developers: The Gentlebros (based in Singapore), Weyrdworks Studio (based in Kuala Lumpur), and True Axion Interactive (based in Bangkok).

It's refreshing that a big company like Apple wants to work with local developers to create games for the Southeast Asia region. It helps SEA creators to gain more visibility. In fact, we're actually home to plenty of world-class developers.

Before 2008, the software industry was dominated by a few large companies.The App Store has opened the door for any developer, from one-person shops (Weyrdworks is a 2-man team) to large studios, to come up with a great idea, build a high quality app and reach thousands of Apple users across the globe!

Here are a couple of games created by developers in SEA you might want to try:

This is INVICTUS: Lost Soul. It's a card-based fighting game developed in Thailand that was recently released!

Cat Quest 2 is still in development. It's (primarily) a single-player open-world RPG game where you play as a cat or as a dog. The game is by The Gentlebros and they've hinted that there will be co-op opportunities!

WarPods is a free-to-play, sci-fi block-breaker RPG. The art style has a cartoon vibe and there are regular in-game campaigns that are story-driven.

4) Did you know that the iPhone does measure up to some of the best gaming phones out there

We were at an Apple briefing and play-tested a couple of games. When we talk about 'gaming phones,' the iPhone usually is not on our list. But you'll be surprised at how smooth the performance and graphics are on many 'high-end' games.

Overheating is a common problem for any gaming devices and surprisingly, even without fancy technology, most iPhones do not overheat after long hours of gameplay.

In fact, we've noticed that a couple of top-tier mobile esports tournaments in the region use the iPhone as their tournament device. That's a telling sign.

Here's a video comparing the performance of the iPhone to other flagships while playing Asphalt 9: Legends.

Florence offers a pretty immersive gaming experience that will stimulate your senses.

Granted that this point is more phone-related rather than App Store-related, but both should go hand-in-hand. The iPhone may not be famous as a mobile gaming device, but from what we've seen so far, that's one of the areas they are looking to develop. It looks like they have the technology and the drive to elevate your gaming experience.

eGG thoughts: We've only scratched the surface of what you can find on the Apple App Store. Besides finding cool games and playing them at high graphics without compromising phone performance, what we're most excited about is Apple's focus on local game developers. Many of these developers have created amazing games and showed the world the potential of Southeast Asia. Stay tuned for more about some of our regional video games creators' stories.


Benedict Tan