Apple has taken an important step in releasing its cloud-based game applications such as Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud on the App Store. The company renewed its policies to allow them to take place in the store. Still, the renewed policies seem to paint a very limited area.
A full section is devoted to the games published within the new rules, and it is detailed how they will fit into the App Store ecosystem. The services are allowed to provide a catalog app listing games within the App Store and access Apple’s payment system. However, each game has to go through an independent review process. The newly added rules are listed as follows:
Streaming games are allowed as long as they follow all guidelines – for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchases to unlock features or functionality. There are always open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users except the App Store.
4.9.1 Every flow game; have an App Store product page, appear in charts and searches, have user ratings and reviews, be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, and be visible on the user’s device, etc. must be sent to the App Store as a separate application.
4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog application in the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find games on the App Store, but the app must follow all guidelines; This includes subscription with in-app purchases and the use of Sign In with Apple. All games included in the catalog app must be linked to an independent App Store product page.
The striking point here is that every game offered on Stadia and xCloud must be submitted to the App Store as a separate application. Considering that Xbox Game Pass, of which xCloud is a part, contains hundreds of games, we can say that this is a very difficult process.
“This remains a bad experience for customers,” Microsoft said in a statement sent to The Verge site after the announcement of the new rules on the App Store. Players want to jump directly to a game from the catalog of their choice within a single app, just like with movies or songs, and are not forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. ”
Microsoft says the basic logic in cloud-based game services is that users do not have to download each game separately. According to the new rules introduced by Apple to the App Store, each game offered within cloud services must be downloaded separately. A similar approach is envisaged here as in Apple Arcade.
Although the rules introduced by Apple do not like Microsoft, at least on the Apple side, it seems that there is a desire to meet Microsoft and Google in a middle point. Now we will see the steps to be taken by two companies offering cloud-based gaming services.
Other changes to the rules include the provision that apps that are free versions of paid web-based tools do not need to use Apple’s purchasing system, meaning Apple can officially reduce its fees. Interestingly, the new rules also allow for the original version of the Hey email app, which caused quite a bit of controversy a few months ago and did not allow Apple to release updates on the App Store.