Apple’s Guidelines for Game Streaming Services Revised

With all the problems Apple has been going through with gaming streaming services, they reached a conclusion. Apple’s guidelines for game streaming services were announced on Friday, and they were less than stellar received. Services like Google Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud, and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now to run on iOS is super extreme. In a nutshell, you can’t use the individual app to play their games.

You need to download each game individually from the App Store.

“Games offered in a streaming game service subscription must be downloaded directly from the App Store, must be designed to avoid duplicate payment by a subscriber, and should not disadvantage non-subscriber customers,” the updated rules read (via CNBC).

“Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple,” the company said in another section of its guidelines. “All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.”

Last month, Apple said that it had to limit game streaming services because it said it would have to review and approve each title individually — rules that don’t apply to non-interactive streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. Having each game as an individual app means it’ll show up in “charts and search, has user ratings and review [and] can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps.”

This is all about Epic Games.

Apple’s guidelines for game streaming services seems a bit of an over-reach. Given the issue they are experiencing with Epic, it could be a play to make sure no one else pulls that crap. Why wouldn’t they require that of Netflix or Disney Plus, if that’s the angle they wish to play?

“This remains a bad experience for customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told The Verge. “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.”

Were Microsoft to rework xCloud to comply with the new policy, every game offered through the service would be subject to the 30 percent cut Apple takes from in-app purchases. The fee is at the center of the company’s ongoing legal feud with Epic.

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