Microsoft condemns Apple’s App Store policies

Microsoft condemns Apple’s App Store policies

31

Microsoft is now rebuking Apple over its stringent developer restrictions and its stance on cloud gaming apps, which the iPhone maker does not allow on the App Store for apparent violations of its guidelines. In a statement attributed to a Microsoft spokesperson, “Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.”

Apple earlier today elaborated on its controversial position to not allow services like Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud and the competing Google Stadia platform to exist on the App Store because the company cannot review individual games available on cloud platforms. Many other App Store guidelines also bar cloud services from existing on iOS unless they are designed more like remote desktop software.

Read More: Google signs exclusive Stadia game deals with five-game developers

Microsoft says Apple is denying consumers the benefits of such technology through unfair enforcement of its App Store rules. It also accuses Apple of treating gaming apps unfairly while allowing other media services to existing on the platform even when they “include interactive content,” a nod it sounds like to Netflix’s inclusion of interactive programming akin to text adventure games like last year’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

“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.” The company also alleges that Apple “consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”

Microsoft goes on to say that it’s interested in making xCloud and its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription available on iOS devices. It also references the ESRB and other regional equivalents to the US video game rating board as evidence that Apple could use third-party content evaluations in deciding whether to allow cloud gaming apps onto iOS. But as it stands right now, it doesn’t appear like Apple is willing to play ball.

“All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry rating bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents,” Microsoft says, implying that it believes that review should be sufficient rather than having Apple apply its policies to each game. “We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform,” the statement goes on to say, though it’s unclear what exactly that path will be, given the impasse.

Read More: Apple confirmed cloud gaming services such as xCloud and Stadia violate App Store guidelines

Here’s the Microsoft spokesperson full statement:

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 catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings 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. We agree.

Keywords: app store guidelines, xcloud ios, stadia google

Share: