Apple Bans Microsoft xCloud and Other Cloud Gaming Services from iOS

Image: Microsoft

If you’re interested in cloud-gaming services, such as Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia, you’ll definitely need an Android device. Apple has confirmed (via Business Insider) that it won’t allow any such fun on iOS due to its app store guidelines. For whatever reason, the company has mandated that each game must be submitted and reviewed individually – a process that nobody, not even Apple, wants to put up with.

“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 added. “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.”

Sounds dumb, right? Microsoft definitely agrees, having told The Verge that Apple “stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.” Microsoft is also accusing Apple of treating gaming apps differently, “applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”

What Microsoft is alluding to here is Apple’s hypocrisy, in that it plays hardball with gaming but doesn’t feel the need to review, say, every movie shown through the Netflix app or music track played on Spotify. Apple told Business Insider that this is due to the difference in medium: “Games are interactive, unlike music and film, and there are consumer expectations baked into the App Store related to gaming.”

“No in-app payment through Apple’s built-in services, for instance, and no App Store rating, among a variety of other things.”

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