May 22, 2022

Apple Blocks xCloud and Stadia From All iProducts

Coming in September, over 100 fully-playable console games, right in the palm of your hand on your mobile device, thanks to Xbox and the xCloud streaming service.

Unless you’re an iOS user, that is.

Apple has laid down a tall order; iOS devices will not permit streaming services such as Xbox xCloud or Google Stadia.

It’s a move that has rubbed Microsoft and Epic Games the wrong way – and with good reason.

Apple spoke to Business Insider to express its concerns with services such as xCloud;

“The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, [and] a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go to our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines [that are] intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.

Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch [on the App Store], as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review and appearing in charts and search.

[In addition to the App Store], developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users [over the web] through Safari and other browsers on the App Store”.

That’s One Bad Apple

To this end, Microsoft retorted back at Apple in a statement to The Verge;

“Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired.

Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS [via the Apple App Store]. Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud-gaming and game subscription services [like Xbox Game Pass]. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.

All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue are rated for content by independent industry rating bodies; such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. And we agree”.

Its Microsoft Vs Apple…Again

Despite how playground it all sounds, each side has a point. From Apple’s perspective, the potential games on the xCloud and/or Stadia cannot be checked by Apple. Therefore, they could slip through Apple’s quality assurance checks.

On the other hand, Apple is wrong. As Microsoft puts it, each and every game available is vetted to the same scrutiny Apple would use on games on the App Store. [Presumably, the same can be said about Google and Stadia].

And clearly, it isn’t just Microsoft who opposes Apple’s stance on this. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, tweeted out;

“Apple has outlawed the metaverse.

The principle they state, taken literally, would rule out all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user-created modes; not just xCloud, Stadia, and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox“.

So, clearly, this little feud between Microsoft [and Epic, and I guess Google, though there isn’t much chatter from them] and Apple will roll on. Meanwhile, xCloud will launch 15th September as part of an overhauled Game Pass system. And, in case you somehow missed it, will not be available on any iOS device.

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