- Apple refuses to allow major gaming apps from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook on the iPhone and iPad App Store.
- According to Apple, the reason is because those apps provide access to games that haven’t been rated by Apple’s review guidelines.
- “Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and game services can be launched on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of principles that apply to all developers, “an Apple spokesperson told Business Insider,” including submitting individual games for review and appearance in charts and searches. “
- It̵7;s a policy that Apple applies only to game services while allowing apps like Netflix and Spotify to provide access to vast libraries without going through Apple’s App Store review process. .
- Both Microsoft and Facebook are openly opposing Apple’s policy.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
The only way to publish apps to iPhone and iPad is through Apple’s App Store.
And if Apple decides that an app you’ve submitted for publication violates its publishing requirements, your app won’t be available on the Apple App Store.
That is the case with the trio of apps from some of the biggest tech companies: Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all have major gaming apps that Apple refuses to publish. Microsoft’s Game Pass, Google’s Stadia, and Facebook’s Games app all had problems publishing on the App Store.
Reason? These companies won’t submit individual games to Apple for review.
“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,” said a spokesperson. Apple told Business Insider this week. “Before they enter our store, all applications are reviewed under the same set of guidelines to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field for developers.”
Since each company doesn’t submit individual games, Apple is blocking apps from allowing access to those games.
“Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and game services can be launched on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of principles that apply to all developers, including submitting each game for review and appearance in charts and searches, “said the statement from Apple. “In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users via the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store.”
Since Apple allows services like Netflix and Spotify without considering every piece of content, why not allow a similar service to play games?
The difference focuses on the average, according to Apple: The games are interactive, unlike music and movies, and there are consumer expectations that are put into the App Store related to gaming.
According to Apple, those expectations extend to game content, but also search capabilities and in-app payments through Apple’s integrated services and App Store rankings.
To be published on Apple’s App Store, Facebook has completely removed games from its Facebook Gaming app.
Google has removed the core component of the app – the Google Stadia iOS app doesn’t stream video games to your phone, which is what a survival service has to do.
And for the time being, when Microsoft’s Game Pass game-streaming service launches on September 15, it will only be available on Android smartphones and tablets.
“Unfortunately, we have no way to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to iOS players through the Apple App Store,” a Microsoft spokesperson said on Tuesday. Year. “Apple stands alone as the sole general purpose platform that denies consumers playing games in the cloud and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it always treats apps. Different games apply more tolerance rules to non-game apps even if they include interactive content. “
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has similarly harsh words.
“Unfortunately, we had to completely remove the game functionality to get Apple approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app – meaning iOS users have a worse experience than Android users,” Sandberg said. said in a statement shared with Business Insider on Friday. “We focus on building communities for more than 380 million people playing the game on Facebook every month – whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not.”
And in a thread on Twitter, the Facebook Gaming account went even further.
“After months of submissions and repeated rejections from Apple, we had to completely remove instant games from the standalone app,” a tweet stream from the account said on Friday. “We can afford to spend ~ 6 months reviewing Apple reviews, but many others can’t. And although we may have tried additional appeals, we don’t want to stop. rolling out a version for live streamers and fans alike. “
A Google Stadia representative did not respond to a request for comment.
What happens next is anyone’s guess, but without support for the iPhone and iPad, ambitious services like Xbox Game Pass and Google Stadia are bound to struggle. IPhone users account for almost half of the US smartphone market share, according to Statista, and the iPad is even more dominant in the tablet market.
One thing is for sure: Given how important the Xbox Game Pass is to Microsoft’s future with the Xbox brand, we certainly won’t hear the end of this.
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