The video game industry is not so happy with Apple right now.
In an effort to extend an olive branch to streaming service that was previously banned from the App Store, Apple has announced a new set of guidelines that allow game streaming services such as Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia on the platform for the first time.
Nice, right? Error. Many in the industry are concerned about the new guidelines.
Apple’s old rules blocked these streaming apps from the App Store, which really means you can̵
At the time Apple that the company evaluates app content before allowing it in the App Store. Since these streaming video game services offer an ever-changing selection of game titles, Apple’s position was that this type of app was not allowed in the App Store.
However, these streaming services are growing in popularity. So Apple has decided to open the App Store doors for services like xCloud and Stadia. However – and here is the deal breaker – according to each game available on these services, they must be sent to the App Store as a standalone app.
The guidelines seem to defeat the purpose of these services altogether.
“This is still a bad experience for customers,” a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement to Mashable. “Players will jump directly into a game from their curated catalog in one app, just as they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud.”
Microsoft has a point. Movie and music streaming services like Netflix and Spotify all have apps in the App Store. And these services have an always-updated directory of multimedia content available directly from the app.
Imagine if Apple required Netflix to submit all the movies for approval before offering them on the platform? It does not make much sense that video games are treated so much differently. At least one expert believes that Apple has its reasons.
“Either Apple misunderstands how gaming streaming works, or these guidelines are designed to be a ‘game’ of ‘technical’ so that systems can work, while ensuring that the requirements are so burdensome that Microsoft, Google and others prominent just do not engage, “said Michael Futter, co-founder of consulting firm F-Squared and co-host of the Virtual Economy Podcast,” to Mashable. “Apple’s new streaming guidelines communicate that the company has no interest in welcoming xCloud or Stadia to iOS . ”
Futter further asked what this means for similar video game services like SteamLink. Valve’s streaming app gives users access to their library of PC games. This seems to violate Apple’s new policy.
The Cupertino-based technology giant already has a rocky relationship with the gaming industry.
One of the most popular video games, Fortnite, comes from the App Store due to a dispute over terms of revenue share. The game’s developer, Epic Games, is involved in a legal battle with the iPhone maker over Apple’s restrictive practices regarding the App Store.
It is clear that Apple views the gaming industry as a money maker, and that it wants a generous cut in everything that generates revenue from iOS availability. But industry experts like Futter believe Apple is really blowing a big opportunity.
“Apple may have taken a step forward,” he explained. “But this is more like a child’s demand than a real gesture to embrace the non-mobile half of the $ 150 billion gaming industry.”