Microsoft's xCloud, Facebook Gaming, and other game streaming services have all had their game streaming services either neutered or otherwise removed completely from Apple's iOS.
The reasoning for this is that Apple views game streaming from companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to be a potentially dangerous enterprise... or at the very least not in line with their apparently stringent guidelines, if we are to go by this statement from Apple:
"The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers," an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider. "Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers."
"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search," Apple said in a statement to Business Insider. "In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store."
Facebook Gaming published a statement of their own on Twitter, where after "months of submissions and repeated rejections by Apple, we've had to remove instant games entirely from the standalone app."
2/ But for FB game developers and players...we have some bad news. After months of submissions and repeated rejections by Apple, we’ve had to remove instant games entirely from the standalone app. pic.twitter.com/aydUh0EgSM— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) August 7, 2020
The reason for this is simple, because under App Store guideline 4.7, Apple has rejected the Facebook app while claiming the purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. Apparently it's not.
3/ Citing App Store guideline 4.7, Apple rejected the app claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. It’s not. ~95% of app activity on Android is from watching livestreams. We shared this stat with Apple, but no luck.— Facebook Gaming (@FacebookGaming) August 7, 2020
Microsoft also had words to say as well about this situation:
Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content. All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree.
That's fairly harsh. "Apple stands alone" is the type of language that you don't really see from big companies saying to other companies in statements like this. I do like how Microsoft agrees with itself at the end of its statement, which is nice, because a statement at odds with itself would be confusing and force me to write more words, which is not good.
Either way, this means that there will be no game streaming on iOS for the foreseeable future. Until then, stay tuned to TechRaptor.
What do you think of this news? Do you think Apple is being unnecessarily harsh? Do you think they're trying to keep competitors off of their operating system? Let us know in the comments!