Apple and its obstacles to the game via streaming
A few months ago, when the Project xCloud test was underway for both Android and iOS through TestFlight, we discussed it: if the game via streaming does not reach the iPhone and iPad it is because Apple does not want. That simple and direct. Because you could review those rules of your App Store that you rely on to deny access to a service that would be very valuable to your users, although not so much for their interests and Apple Arcade. But we go in parts.
When it was still in beta, Project xCloud on iOS only allowed Halo to be played and at that time it ignored the issue a bit more because there was no specific date for the launch of the service. So many hoped that the whole issue would be solved for the presentation and official launch. Now that we have that date set, everything remains the same.
Starting next September 15, Microsoft’s Project xCloud will begin shooting and users with Android terminals will be able to access the service without major problem. You will pay for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and voila, to play those more than one hundred titles that they promise without having to invest in a console or PC gaming and being able to continue your games wherever you want.
However, iPhone or iPad users won’t be able to. Because the rules of the App Store do not allow this type of application services. This is how the company justifies that xCloud is not available through the App Store.
An application can offer a single subscription that is shared among its applications and services, but they cannot be extended to third-party applications or services. Games offered by a subscription must be the exclusive property of the developer (they must not be part of a game publication). Each game must be downloadable directly from the App Store, designed to avoid duplicate payment by a subscriber, and not harm non-subscriber customers.
The rules of the App Store
That is one of the arguments that Apple uses to defend itself against criticism from those who do not understand why xCloud is not or is not expected in the App Store. But he is not the only one, in the section 4.2.7 Remote Desktop Clients of the App Store rules there are a number of additional considerations.
If your remote desktop application acts as a specific software or services server rather than a generic server on the host device, you must comply with the following:
(a) The application must only connect to a user-owned host device that is a user-owned personal computer or dedicated game console, and both the host device and the client must be connected on a local, LAN-based network.
(b) Any software or services that appear on the client runs entirely on the host device, is displayed on the host device screen, and cannot use APIs or platform functions beyond what is required to stream the remote desktop.
(c) All account creation and management must be initiated from the host device.
(d) The user interface that appears in the client does not resemble an iOS or App Store view, does not provide a store-like interface, nor does it include the ability to browse, select, or purchase software that is not yet owned by the user or licensed by the user. For the sake of clarity, transactions within duplicate software do not need to use in-app purchase as long as the transactions are processed on the host device.
(e) Thin clients for cloud-based applications are not suitable for the App Store.
These points make it clear that the control that Apple wants to exercise over how these types of services are to be accessed is excessive. It is understood that they seek certain quality standards and protect aspects such as user experience and privacy, something that is valued positively, but there are other measures that are out of place. And it is not the only thing, to all this we must add the 30% commission for the subscription you don’t want to give up.
Anyway, this situation is very complex and easy to solve at the same time. As has been seen, if they have made certain arrangements with other companies to offer their services, why are they not able to do the same with Microsoft. At the end of the day, we are talking about another great, reliable company with which there was always understanding on most occasions.
Achieving that solution would be great news for millions and millions of users around the world. Also, few devices better than the iPhone and iPad to enjoy the game via streaming. And if allowing xCloud affects Apple Arcade, because they would also have to give the green light to Stadia and GeForce Now, because they put even more interest and make it more competitive.