Apple allows game streaming on iPhones, but there's a catch
After a series of controversies, Apple has updated its App Store policies to allay some of the concerns of its developer partners. The changes do not touch the contentious 30% cut the Cupertino giant takes on revenue generated from in-app purchases but focus on rules regarding iOS services that offer game streaming capabilities, digital fitness classes, and more. Here's all about it.
Game streaming apps previously rejected for iPhone
A few weeks back, Apple rejected the xCloud game streaming service for iPhones over security concerns. The company said that the Microsoft-built platform offered a variety of games for streaming which blocks it from reviewing each title individually and therefore violates the App Store guidelines. Google Stadia and Facebook Gaming were also hit by the same policy of the Tim Cook-led company.
Now, Apple has carved loopholes to let streaming services in
Now, as part of the new rules, Apple is allowing cloud-based game streaming on the App Store. But, the condition is, the titles offered by these services (whether Stadia or xCloud or something else) should be made available for streaming directly through the App Store, where they can be reviewed. There can't be a single place to explore and play all the titles.
Catalogs can be created, says Apple
That said, to solve the issue to some extent, Apple has said developers can use catalog-style apps linking out to the games that use their streaming tech on the App Store. This whole system means players like Microsoft and Google would have to make extensive changes to their streaming services and business models to take their products to iPhone users.
Here's what Microsoft said on Apple's new rule
"This remains a bad experience for customers. Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play games from the cloud."
Other changes allowed by Apple
Apple's new rules also say that apps offering educational or fitness classes would have to be billed if they are offering "one-to-few or one-to-many services". If the experience is for "one-to-one," there is no requirement of in-app purchases through the App Store. The company has also exempted free apps that act as a companion to web-based tools from using its in-app purchase for subscriptions.