Apple has relaxed its restrictions in the iOS App Store for streaming games from services such as Microsoft xCloud, Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now. However, Apple continues to have restrictions on how users pay for the games and that game sales are reduced by 30%. Apple today made the changes in its App Store review guidelines.
While the move is helping Apple keep up with the world of game streaming, it is quite inconvenient for gamers to purchase new games through iOS.
Apple allows these services to stream games to players. This means that they can host the game on cloud servers and send videos of the gameplay back to users so that players can access games they haven’t downloaded or play games that they have on their phone or tablet -Hardware would not support otherwise. For example, you can play Red Dead Redemption 2 in Google Stadia on an iPhone or iPad. The advantage is that gamers can play games on mobile devices that would otherwise require a PC or game console.
Apple had previously rejected these streaming apps as originally proposed, in part because the apps could have allowed gamers to bypass the App Store when shopping, and that would have meant Apple wouldn̵
Companies like Microsoft, Google and Nvidia could offer a catalog app in the App Store that users can use to sign up for the service and find the games that have been uploaded to the App Store, provided the app complies with Apple’s guidelines. These apps must offer the option to pay for a subscription using Apple’s payment system and use Sign in with Apple.
It’s hard to say if this is good news as there are plenty of hoops to jump through and the game streaming companies have to decide if it’s worth it for them. It’s not clear what if you’ve already paid a subscription directly on Google and just want to play a streamed game on your iPhone. It sounds like you’ll have to pay for the game all over again, which brings in 30% less for Apple.
Google and Nvidia declined to comment. But Microsoft came out swinging.
“This remains a bad experience for customers,” a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement. “As with films or songs, players want to jump straight into a game from a curated catalog in an app and don’t have to download more than 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We strive to put the player at the center of everything we do and providing a great experience is at the core of that mission. “
Epic Games is still out of luck due to the ongoing dispute with Apple. Epic has violated the store’s rules and uploaded a version of the game that allowed direct payments to Epic as an alternative to Apple’s in-app purchase system and is preventing Apple from making its 30% cut. According to Apple, apps are not allowed to contain hidden functions with functions that Apple does not approve. App makers must disclose feature changes when they submit apps for review.
Apple also said that apps cannot require users to rate an app, review the app, watch videos, download other apps, tap ads, turn on tracking, or take other similar actions to do things in the game or app .
Here are the relevant guidelines for streaming games:
4.92 Streaming Games
Streaming games are allowed as long as they meet all guidelines. For example, every game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for searching, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there are always internet and web browser apps open, with all users outside of the App Store can be reached.
Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as a single app in order for it to have an App Store product page, display in charts and search, have user ratings and ratings, be managed with ScreenTime, and display other parental control apps become user device etc.
Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the app store that allows users to sign up for the service and find the games in the app store, provided the app follows all guidelines, including the ability to pay for a subscription using in -app Purchase and use Sign in to Apple. All games included in the Catalog App must be linked to a single App Store product page.