In brief: Apple quietly began offering annual subscriptions to its games-as-a-service platform Apple Arcade. Without announcement, the option to pay for a full year has appeared in the App Store. It saves more than 15 percent off the monthly cost.

Apple has begun offering an annual rate for its new Apple Arcade subscription service. The game platform is already a decent value at $5 per month (more on that in a minute), but now users can save a few cents per month more by paying for a year upfront.

If you go to the App Store and tap on the Arcade tab, you will be given a monthly option at $4.99 or an annual rate of $49.99. If you are already a subscriber, go to your account page by tapping your user icon. On your account information screen, select Subscriptions. Here you will see the same two options. If you switch to the annual rate, it will be tacked on to the end of your current month.

The rate saves users about $10 per year, which works out to about $4.17 monthly. It's not a huge discount (17 percent), but the monthly rate is not that big to begin with, and as mentioned, it is a pretty good value for what you get. I started my subscription on day one with the free one-month trial offer and chose to continue because I found it was worth the nominal fee.

All the games are ad- and microtransaction-free, which is a plus considering many regular games in the store are not. Most of the games are of exceptionally high production standards. My favorite is Shinsekai Into the Depths by Capcom. Assemble With Care is another worthy title, albeit a bit short.

As an added value, if you have Family Sharing enabled, anyone on your plan can download Arcade games with no bump in the subscription cost.

As long as Apple continues adding quality new content as regularly as it has, the subscription should remain a great value. Adding an annual rate makes it a bit more enticing, but for now, I'm waiting to be sure Apple doesn't rest on its laurels and let content get stale.

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