Apple changes App Store rules, but doesn't go far enough for Microsoft - The UpStream

Apple changes App Store rules, but doesn't go far enough for Microsoft

posted Sunday Sep 13, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Apple changes App Store rules, but doesn't go far enough for Microsoft

While Apple may still be fighting against Epic's challenge to the App Store policies, it appears that the company is trying to make nice with the other group of companies who dislike the policies: streaming game brands. Previously, streaming services like Xbox Game Streaming (Project xCloud) and Facebook Gaming were not allowed on Apple's mobile devices because the content could not be individually moderated by Apple. However, since Microsoft and Facebook called them out publicly, Apple seems to have worked to make it possible.

This has been accomplished through changes to the App Store policies, made official this week. The big change is that game collection apps can now operate within the App Store, but with some heavy rules that could make it difficult to accommodate. The easy part is that all games within the catalog must follow the rules of the store. The app must provide metadata for each individual game available to Apple, to allow for full content search indexing.

On the other hand, all in-game purchases will need to be made through the App Store, just like other apps (including the 30% fee that Apple charges). Each individual game will also be required to go through the same app approval process that all games on the App Store must go through. This means that each game will be individually listed in the Store, making the management of the streaming services incredibly difficult.

This process is significantly different from that of streaming music or video services. Netflix does not need to get approval from Apple for each movie or TV episode that they list, and they do not have to list each piece individually in the store. Instead, Apple trusts that the content being provided will be acceptable to the platform. If it does not follow the rules, Apple can remove the entire app until it comes into alignment with the policies. However, they are really flexing their muscle in the gaming realm. However , the end result here will likely be an entire emerging market of gaming entirely off-limits to Apple users.

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