You can already use your iPad for subscription-based access to streaming movies. If a Bloomberg report is to be believed, you’ll soon be able to have similar subscription access to games.
According to the report, Big Fish Games successfully lobbied Apple for permission to offer customers subscription-based access to its slate of games—a first for iOS. Big Fish’s reportedly plans to charge $5 per month (with that fee increasing to $7 per month after more games are added) for what Bloomberg describes as “dozens of titles.”
From within the forthcoming Big Fish app, customers will be able to “stream” games like Mystery Case Files and the Mahjong Towers series. One significant caveat of the planned approach is that it will reportedly require that you be connected to Wi-Fi in order to play, so that the app can communicate with Big Fish’s servers.
Bloomberg further reports that Big Fish will offer a free version of the subscription game service, which will limit gameplay to 30 minutes per day, and include in-app advertisements.
Whether customers will take to the all-you-can-eat buffet approach is, of course, an open question. Casual gamers may well rejoice at the free, time-limited option, if their daily gaming is limited. More active gamers may be comfortable with the monthly fee and Internet connectivity requirement, though it’s also possible many will choose to stick with the more traditional approach of buying a game and owning it outright—including the ability to play it even when offline.
Neither Apple nor Big Fish Games responded to Macworld’s request for comment.