Apple confirms that Xcloud and Stadia violate there guidelines

Ruben Fields
August 9, 2020

"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".

Apple rejected Facebook Gaming app on the iOS App Store, as it was a direct threat to the livestream gaming service Apple Arcade.

She further said that Facebook will strive to bring the complete experience of Facebook gaming to iOS users, even if it is not through a standalone app.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said the following on the issue to The Verge: "We had to completely remove the game play feature for Apple to approve the Facebook Gaming app".

Facebook says it shared usage data with Apple from its Android Facebook Gaming app that showed 95 percent of activity involves watching streams, but it was unable to change Apple's stance on the matter.

The company said that Apple "stands alone" in denying consumers the benefits of cloud gaming and claimed it "treats gaming apps differently" to non-gaming apps.

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It isn't a case of Apple/developers being late to the party, it is simply Apple policy that is getting in the way of services such as xCloud and Stadia being available to iPhone/iPad users.

The tech giant said all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines "intended to protect customers" and provide a level playing field to developers. Facebook Gaming saw a massive 238 per cent growth in hours watched in the month of April (year-over-year) when people stayed home owing to Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the live game streaming platform Twitch that saw 101 per cent growth. But xCloud's beta test on iOS ended early, well before the September 15 launch of the service.

We are yet to see whether Apple will manage to keep its ecosystem closed from cloud gaming for long. Furthermore, not only do all games need to be reviewed, but they must also be searchable on the App Store.

Complaints about the Apple App Store are as old as the App Store itself, but that doesn't make the latest development any more aggravating for gamers. None of these services have launched on iOS, and now we know why. While Facebook runs the world's largest social network and owns many popular apps such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, Apple controls their distribution through its App Store.

Facebook made these criticisms when announcing the iOS and Android applications of the online gaming platform Facebook Gaming. All games offered in the Xbox Game Pass brochure are ranked for material by independent market rankings bodies such as the ESRB and local equivalents.

Apple's attitude towards game streaming services feels like more evidence in the growing number of antitrust cases against the company.

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