Microsoft has called Apple’s revised App Store guidelines for streaming services “a bad experience.” Apple was forced to revise its App Store guidelines revolving around game streaming services like Microsoft’s xCloud or Google’s Stadia making their way to iOS or iPadOS. The Cupertino giant has allowed such services on its App Store, but with major caveats that Microsoft reportedly does not agree with. In a statement given to an online publication, Microsoft stated that it does not want gamers to have to download over 100 apps to play individual games.
Apple made changes to its App Store guidelines to loosen up some restrictions around game streaming services like Microsoft’s xCloud (bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) and Google’s Stadia. This came after Google and Microsoft, both decided to not release their streaming services on iOS and iPad OS devices because of Apple’s rules. While Apple has now allowed for game streaming services to exist on its platform, it asked the companies to submit each game individually for review, and that their game streaming services will need to become catalogues that essentially link out to each individual game app.
Microsoft responded to Apple’s App Store changes in a statement to The Verge, “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 individual games from the cloud. We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.” By mentioning “movies or songs”, Microsoft seems to be hinting at Netflix, Spotify, and other streaming platforms that do not have to submit each movie or song for review.
Another reason why Microsoft does not approve of this revision to App Store guidelines is that submitting each app individually to Apple will subject it to the 30 percent cut that Cupertino giant takes from in-app purchases.
In-app purchases and Apple’s 30 percent commission are the reasons that have caused Apple to be entangled in a legal battle with Epic Games. It has also led to an investigation into Apple’s App Store pay service policies by the European Commission.
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