Apple has been pretty late to the subscription game for its iTunes store, and has only recently started offering its iTunes Match service in the US. But Apple has now made a deal with Big Fish Games, the creator of games like “Mystery Case Files” and “Mahjong Towers”. The service will give dozens of the Big Fish games for $7 a month.
This will work in a similiar fashion to services like Netflix. Instead of purchasing a game once off, you only pay the subscription fee, and use a internet connection to play the game. You can access a free version of the service which limits the games to 3o minutes a day. This is a significant change for Apple, as they have not used a trial version system of software until now, and the use of a monthly fee for a catalogue of games is a pretty great idea. Right now the user will install the Bigfish app, and then purchase a monthly subscription in app, which is taken from iTunes credit. Apps will be streamed over air, so you might need a decent internet connection.
While iOS games typically have low purchase prices, they tend to have limited game time associated with them. While $5 for a great game is a lot cheaper than other handheld platforms, you eventually stop playing it. We can only hope Apple brings this service to other game publishers as well – only time will tell if someone like EA is willing to work with this type of distribution model.
Oh – this is of course not available in SA, so you will need a US iTunes account to make this work. If you want to be able download Apps, Music, Movies, TV Series etc from the US iTunes store, even if you live in SA, here is how to do it.