Cloud gaming services from Microsoft & Google won’t work on iOS
Cloud gaming is growing up to have a great moment on mobile beginning next month with the launch of Microsoft’s xCloud service, but iOS users are going left out.
And now we understand precisely why: Apple won’t let those products, because of strict App Store guidelines that make cloud services like xCloud and its rival, Google Stadia, effectively impossible to run on the iPhone.
We now grasped that there was some concern, likely App Store-related, as to why Google Stadia continued available for Apple devices and why Microsoft’s service would likely face a similar fate.
It looked even more likely that xCloud’s fate on iOS was sealed yesterday when Microsoft cut off iOS examination for its xCloud app well ahead of its September 15th launch date on Android. Nvidia’s GeForce Now service is also so Android-only when it happens to phones, even though that program technically allows you access titles you already own.
But Apple has come out and stated, in a statement to Business Insider, that these kinds of cloud services are in breach of App Store guidelines and cannot, in their simplified forms, ever exist on iOS. The primary reason: they give access to apps Apple can’t personally review.
Apple’s Official Statement:
The App Store was designed to be a safe and trusted place for users to find and download apps and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go to our store, all apps are reviewed on the same set of guidelines that are designed to protect customers and present a fair and level playing field to developers.
Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can undoubtedly launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines relevant to all developers, including submitting games individually for review and looking in charts and search. In enhancement to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and different browsers on the App Store.
Back in March, Bloomberg announced Apple is offering a very comparable justification when questioned about possible antitrust concerns related to Apple’s Arcade game subscription service, which the company works despite the headaches its competitors face trying to do the same.
Microsoft, in a new statement given to The Verge on Thursday, states it could not find a resolution to bringing xCloud to iOS via the App Store, and it now pins the responsibility solely on Apple.
It tells Apple “stands alone” in rejecting consumers the benefits of cloud gaming by and that it “consistently reviews gaming apps differently” by “applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps.” The company adds that it plans to maintain looking for a way to bring cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to iOS devices.
Statement from a Microsoft spokesperson in full:
Our trial 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 holds alone as the only general-purpose platform to reject consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.
And it consistently uses gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they add interactive content. All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry rating bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents.
We are dedicated to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We assume 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.