Apple Explains What Happens When Games Are Removed From Apple Arcade
Apple today published a new support document that clarifies what happens when games are removed from its Apple Arcade subscription service.
Apple said that users who download a game before it is removed from Apple Arcade can continue to play the game for "at least two weeks after." Users who launch an Apple Arcade game that is no longer playable will receive a "No Longer Available" message.
Apple says that after a game has been removed from Apple Arcade, the developer might choose to make their game available on the App Store for all users. Apple says the App Store version of a game may differ from the version that was offered on Apple Arcade. For example, while Apple Arcade games are not allowed to offer in-app purchases or display ads, these limitations do not apply to games available to all App Store users.
If a developer chooses to allow users to load their saved progress in the App Store version of the game, users can continue playing right where they left off in the Apple Arcade version. Otherwise, users must start the game over again.
Apple recently shared a list of 15 games that will be removed from Apple Arcade soon. A source informed MacRumors that when Apple Arcade first launched, Apple signed three-year deals with a number of developers, and some of these contracts are apparently nearing expiry and not being renewed, which is why some games will be removed.
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However, the way it was handled shows how Apple still has to figure out how to run these new services. This support document should have been published as soon as the games were announced for removal, not sneakily published after the backlash and confusion.
My go-to game is Solitaire+, entirely free through Apple Arcade and it's a joy.