The future of games is in streaming: we already have the Microsoft xCloud with Xbox titles and the Google Stadia, for example. Cloud games can run on phones and tablets, but the old-fashioned rules of Apple end up being an obstacle. Therefore, she defined on Friday (11) how these platforms should adapt to the iPhone and iPad: the games will have to be listed on App Store and will be subject to a 30% tax on in-app purchases and subscriptions.
In summary, each game on a streaming platform will have to behave as an individual app: it needs to display its own icon on the iOS home screen, have a page on the App Store and send each update to be reviewed by Apple.
Have more: games must use Apple’s in-app purchase system and pay the 30% fee. Microsoft and Google will be able to create a catalog app to bring together the different titles available for streaming; in this case, it will be mandatory to place direct links to the App Store. AND if it is necessary to obtain a subscription – in the case of xCloud – it must be offered on iOS, also subject to the store fee.
Microsoft xCloud, with Xbox titles for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers at no additional cost, will arrive on Android starting this month. However, it was not authorized by Apple because the App Store rules did not allow game streaming. The company ended up changing its guidelines, but without bringing exactly good news.
In August, Apple said that it is necessary to analyze each iOS app “to protect customers and offer fair conditions to developers”. Why isn’t there a similar rule for checking every Netflix movie or series, for example? The company argues that Stadia and xCloud are different in that they deliver interactive content, and claims that customers have certain expectations when it comes to games on the App Store.
My guess is that Apple doesn’t want to open up for companies to offer games or subscriptions on iOS without paying the 30% fee. That way, she can earn money on Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions, required for xCloud.
In Stadia, the percentage would be charged on top of each game purchased on the Google store, or even on the Stadia Pro plan for streaming in 4K. For those who don’t like this, Apple suggests using the “open internet and web browsers to reach all users outside the App Store”. Epic Games has entered a legal battle against this fee, affecting millions of users of Fortnite.
Apple’s rules for game streaming
These are the new App Store rules for game streaming:
Streaming games are allowed as long as they follow all guidelines – for example, each update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for research, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always an open internet and web browsers to reach all users outside the App Store.
Each streaming game must be sent to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in rankings and surveys, has user ratings and reviews, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control applications , appears on the user’s device, etc.
Game streaming services can offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find games, as long as the app meets all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All games included in the catalog application must be linked to an individual product page of the App Store.
With information: TechCrunch.