Apple yesterday updated its guidelines for reviewing the App Store with a few minor changes and a major one. The greater chance is intended to remove the confusion associated with game streaming services such as Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia. But in reality it does not ..
Previously, Apple prevented xCloud and Stadia from staying in the App Store because they could not review every game they offered.
Apple now has new guidelines that require these services to submit an app that will act as the game directory and those for each game to be submitted separately. That’s simply not going to happen, with neither Google nor Microsoft likely to go through the process of submitting hundreds of games that way. In fact, Microsoft has already pointed out that the experience will be bad for gamers.
“This is still a bad experience for customers. Players will jump directly into a game from their curated catalog in one app, just as they do with movies or songs, and will not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud. We are committed to putting players at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is the core of that mission. “
Other changes include wording to prevent a recurrence of the Fortnite debacle. Epic Games included code that remained dormant until a change to the server side was made – it is now explicitly forbidden. On the plus side, Apple will now allow some apps to offer their own in-app purchase payment system, but only if it’s person-to-person services such as gyms or medical apps. Everything else must still use the App Store payment systems.
There are other changes that will not make much difference to users, but Apple is already under fire for much of what they added to their guidelines yesterday. The game flow situation is nothing short of farcical, and it is very unlikely to be enough to get xCloud and Stadia into the App Store. Again, users are the ones who suffer.
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