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Apple Arcade: Beyond A Steel Sky announced as Apple shows us the games

Tom Hoggins

It is the clarion call of all who watch the reveal of a new gaming service or platform reveal: "show us the games already".

As Google revealed its cloud-gaming service Stadia last week, it faced criticism for showing very little of what gamers would actually be playing when its technologically impressive streaming solution arrived. No such problem for Apple Arcade, with Apple announcing a clutch of developers and in-progress titles that will form part of its upcoming subscription service.

The pitch was simple: providing 'premium' games from talented developer away from the noise of the App Store and the free-to-play scramble for a fixed monthly price. It's early days, of course, but the initial raft of announcements was certainly promising.

Few more so than the reveal of York-based Revolution Software's Beyond a Steel Sky, the long-awaited sequel to classic sci-fi point-and-click adventure Beneath A Steel Sky. The new game will see the return of original character Robert Foster and the cyberpunk setting of Union City in what Revolution are calling a "sandbox world interwoven with a deep narrative". Charles Cecil, Founder and CEO of Revolution Software said that Beyond A Steel Sky is aspiring to be a 'modern day 1984'.

Ann Thai, director of product management for the App Store, reveals some of the gaming companies on board for Apple Arcade Credit: Bloomberg

“Even after so many years, fans of the original game are still incredibly loyal and very passionate - and have remained vocal in demanding a sequel” said Cecil. “Adventure games are played by a large, diverse audience that hugely enjoys the interweaving of story and puzzles. Our approach has been to write an intelligent, witty adventure game that is wholly intuitive to play and assumes no prior knowledge of the original game or its universe."

The game will feature art by acclaimed comic-book artist Dave Gibbons. And while Beyond A Steel Sky will be coming to PC and consoles as well as forming part of Apple Arcade, it still felt like a statement of intent for Apple's subscription service which is promising over 100 "new and exclusive" games.

Brighton-based The Chinese Room, the studio behind the acclaimed Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, revealed that its new title Little Orpheus will be coming exclusively to Apple Arcade. And it was also announced that Monument Valley creators ustwo are also working on a new game for the service. The reveal also showed off footage from Fantasium, the gorgeous looking game from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studio.

While no pricing or details on how developers will receive their share of the revenue was revealed, Apple were keen to highlight just how many gaming companies were on board; Sega, Devolver Digital and Annapurna Interactive just some of the impressive names attached to the service.

While time will tell if the reality can live up to Apple's idyllic vision for Arcade, but in simply showing us the games, it has done more than enough to pique the interest of the industry.