This week, Apple announced their new cloud-based gaming service, EA announced the layoffs of 350 employees, and Bethesda released early access for The Elder Scrolls: Blades.

Apple Introduces Its Newest Gaming Service

Apple, in a similar step by Google last week, announced their own new venture in the gaming world this week with Apple Arcade. Through a monthly subscription fee, the Arcade will offer premium, Apple-exclusive games that are not available through Microsoft, Sony, or Google’s Stadia. Developers creating titles for the service include Sega, Disney, Lego, and Konami. The Apple Arcade can be accessed through iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Perks of the Arcade include offline accessibility, no in-app-purchases, no ads, and access for up to six family members. Mashable expressed enthusiasm about the possibilities of the service, claiming, “It’s exciting stuff, but unfortunately all we know for now. Stay tuned for pricing and catalog details as that fall 2019 launch gets closer.” Outlets such as CNET, The Verge, GameSpot, and Variety also   reported on Apple’s latest leap into the gaming world. The Apple Arcade will be available this fall in 150 countries.

EA Announces Layoffs of 350 Employees

This week, EA announced that they will be laying off 350 of their 9,000 employees. Those affected work in the marketing, publishing, and operations departments. EA is also decreasing their international presence by eliminating offices in Japan and Russia. EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, released a statement explaining the company’s need to change in order to better meet the needs of their players. Kotaku expressed concern, stating, Although the video game industry continues to grow, with the Entertainment Software Association touting ever-increasing revenue, it’s been a challenging 2019 for game developers and publishers.” Sources such as Polygon, Venture Beat, Rock Paper Shotgun, and more have weighed in on the topic.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades Enters Early Access for IOS and Android

Bethesda has granted early access to its latest mobile app, The Elder Scrolls: Blades on IOS and Android for those who pre-ordered the game during 2018’s E3 showcase. The release comes after an unexpected delay in November. TechSpot is so far indifferent about the gameplay, stating, “On the one hand, I feel like it has the potential to be a very good TES game for mobile devices. On the other hand, the micro transactions, which so far have not been pushed, and the town-building aspect make me feel like it’s going to be a game I will eventually put down without completing.” Bethesda plans on releasing The Elder Scrolls: Blades for consoles, PC, and VR in the future. The app will be fully available and free to download to the public on March 31. The news was covered by IGN, VG247, GameSpot, and more.