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Earlier this year, Apple reportedly canceled several contracts for games that were set to launch on Arcade, the company’s game subscription service known for its library of high-quality titles that don’t have ads or in-app purchases. It allegedly canceled each of them for the same reason: Apple wants new games that will keep players coming back to the service.

A report from Bloomberg notes that an Arcade executive told some developers who were on contract that Apple is seeking out games that have a high level of “engagement,” as it was put by one of the publication’s sources. For developers wondering where Apple’s bar for engagement currently lies, the report mentions that an Apple Arcade representative cited Grindstone, Capybara Games’ charming, multilevel puzzler, as a model example.

According to this report, Apple paid the affected studios for meeting development milestones, and it told developers that it would work with them in the future if they meet Apple’s requirement for engagement. However, Bloomberg mentions that some of these developers faced financial woes as a result of the canceled contracts. Presumably, these games are allowed to release on other platforms, like Google’s similar Play Pass service for Android devices, though that may not be enough to recoup the losses. According to my colleague Andrew Webster’s interview with indie developers who published games on Apple Arcade, Play Pass pays developers based on user engagement metrics, whereas Apple negotiates deals with developers for their games.

The reason why Apple may be changing its requirements at all almost certainly comes down to keeping subscribers. Arcade had a lot of momentum in late 2019, partially helped by a free one-month trial that came as an introductory offer with the service, which otherwise costs $4.99 each month or $49.99 per year. The other big component of that momentum, of course, came from the excellent games, most of which are exclusive to the platform.

How exactly Apple measures engagement in its upcoming games might change the kinds of games we’ll see coming to the service. It’s hard to see Apple walking back on requiring no ads or microtransactions, but it could mean that shorter games, like ustwo’s Assemble with Care, may not fit within Apple’s new direction for engagement. It could also mean fewer games, but for Apple’s sake, hopefully there will be some good ones in the mix.

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Apple AirPods Pro down to just £205 at Laptops Direct – saving £44

EARBUDS are here to stay, and Apple’s AirPods are the most easily recognisable.

The Airpods Pro are a more expensive option, but they’re currently cheaper at Laptops Direct.

2 You can save £44 on the Airpods Pro at Laptops Direct

The retailer had the earbuds down to £219 last month, but the new price is even cheaper.

Of course it’s not unusual for tech to lower in price the longer it’s available, but the Airpods Pro are creeping closer to £200.

  • Apple Airpods Pro, £205 (save £44) at Laptops Direct - buy here

They’re the best option of the two Apple models if budget allows, and the new price is a sizeable discount.

Still priced at £249 on the official Apple Store, that means you can get them for £44 less.

2 The Bluetooth earbuds come with a wireless charging case

Laptops Direct’s £205 is the cheapest price we can see for the Pros anywhere, and almost the cheapest they’ve ever been.

Previously the lowest was £204.50 on Amazon - according to price tracking website Camelcamelcamel - so Laptops Direct’s price is just 50p more expensive.

It’s the cheapest around right now though, as the Airpods Pro are now £209 on Amazon.

Even better, Laptops Direct offers free shipping to most of the UK: so the price could be £205, delivered.

If you’re not sure whether to opt for the Pro model over the cheaper Airpods, there are some key differences.

Both come with the ubiquitous wireless charging case, but Airpods Pros have three key benefits.

Firstly, they are sweat and water-resistant, so offer a better option for gym-goers.

The Pros also include active noise-cancelling (ACN) for isolating music or calls from background noise.

And lastly, they also include varied sizes of silicone ear tips for improved comfort options.

That may not be news if you’re already in the market for a pair, but hopefully the new lower price is - and can help you save even more.

  • Apple Airpods Pro, £205 (save £44) at Laptops Direct - buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

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