Most gamers may not see Apple As a games company to the extent that you see Sony with PlayStation or Microsoft with Xbox, the iPhone manufacturer continues to drive the industry with decisions in the Apple App Store.
The company posted the news a couple of times later this week to get approval for the App Store. Once to disapprove a gaming app and once to approve one.
The rejection was Microsoft's xCloud Gaming app, something Xbox folks weren't too excited about. Microsoft xCloud has been one of the most comprehensive software platforms on Xbox for some time. This allows gamers to live stream titles from the cloud and play console-quality games on a range of devices. It's a tremendous effort that has been previewed for a while but will likely be officially launched next month. The app was in a Testflight preview for iOS, but when Microsoft tried to move it to prime time, Apple didn't say anytime soon.
The approved app was the Facebook gaming app, which Facebook has been trying unsuccessfully to push through the App Store for months. It was finally approved on Friday after the company removed one of its two key features, a library of playable mobile games. In a concise statement to the New York Times, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, said, "Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay entirely in order to get Apple approval for the stand-alone Facebook gaming app."
Microsoft's Xbox team has also taken the unusually aggressive move of calling Apple in a statement, which in part reads, “Apple is the only all-purpose platform denying consumers of cloud games and game subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass. And it treats gaming apps consistently differently and applies milder rules to non-gaming apps, even if they contain interactive content. "
Microsoft is still a $ 1.61 trillion company. So I don't think I'll turn the violin off for them, but iOS is the world's largest gaming platform. This is what CEO Tim Cook proudly announced when the company launched its own game subscription platform, Apple Arcade. last year. Apple likes to play at its own pace, and all of those game streaming platforms popping up at the same time seem ready to overwhelm them.
There are some things about cloud gaming apps that seem to contradict some of the rules of the App Store, but of course those rules are just guidelines written by Apple. Apple basically said (full explanation later) that the App Store had curators for a reason, and that approving apps like this means they can't review the apps one by one, which hurts the App Store experience.
To say that this is the "reason" seems insincere, as the company has long approved platforms to operate on the App Store without stamping approval for each piece of content that can be accessed. With games being the most popular category in the App Store, Apple is probably much more concerned with keeping its money in order.
According to an analysis by CNBC, the total revenue of the Apple App Store in 2019 was $ 50 billion.
If these cloud gaming platforms like xCloud scale without iOS support, millions of Apple customers, including myself, will be pissed off that their iPhone can't do something their friend's phone can. Playing console-class titles on iPhone would be a significant feature upgrade for consumers. There are roughly 90 million Xbox Live users, a significant number of whom are iPhone owners as I can imagine. The gaming industry is constantly focusing on game subscription networks and cloud gaming to encourage consumers to try more titles and discover more indie hits.
I've seen enough of this saga to realize that sometimes parties start these fights just as a tactic to prevail in negotiations and avoid workarounds, but this tactic really only works when consumers have something to worry about. Most of the larger App Store developer spats have played in the background and will be revealed later, but at this point the Xbox team undoubtedly sees that Apple is not as well positioned to wage an App Store war amid increasing antitrust attention to lead over one thing that seems entirely focused on maintaining its lead in monetizing the games consumers play on Apple screens.
CEO Tim Cook spent a great deal of time in his Congressional Zoom room answering the perceived competitiveness question in the company's application business.
The big point of tension that I could see behind closed doors is that many of these titles offer in-game transactions, and just because this in-app purchase framework is streamed live from a cloud computer doesn't mean that one User it is not. Do not use this content on an Apple device yet. I'm not sure if this is actually the point of contention, but it appears to be a major threat to Apple's ecosystem-wide in-app purchase raking.
The App Store does not currently support cloud games on Nvidia's GeForce platform or Google's Stadia, both of which are also available on Android Telephones. Both platforms are more limited in scope than Microsoft's offer, which is expected to be launched with broader support and will find broader acceptance.
While I can understand Apple's desire not to deliver game titles that may not work properly due to system limitations on an iPhone, that argument doesn't apply so well to the cloud gaming world, where apps translate keystrokes to the cloud and the cloud sends them back the next engine-rendered frames of their game. Apple is forced to determine exactly which media types of apps fall under the label "reader". The inherent interactivity of a cloud gaming platform seems to be the differentiation Apple is pushing here – as are the interfaces that allow players to launch titles directly with an interface that is far more specialized than some generic remote desktop apps.
All of these platforms come after the company already launched Apple Arcade, a non-cloud gaming product that was modeled on Apple for being the values it promotes in the gaming world: family-friendly indie titles with no intrusive ads, no annoying microtransactions, and Apple's vigilant review.
The position of the Apple driver's seat in the gaming world has by no means had a positive impact on the industry. Apple has acted as the gatekeeper, but the fact that many of the "innovations" enforced by the App Store guidelines were great for Apple was questionable for the development of a player-friendly gaming industry.
Apple eased the rise of free games by driving in-app purchases, which have been ruthlessly abused over the years as studios have been irresistibly pushed to structure their titles on addictive principles. Mobile gaming has been one of the insane areas of growth for Wild West startups in the last decade, and Apple's mechanisms for promoting fast transactions within those titles have gone fast and broken.
Check out the 200 most successful games in the App Store (data on Sensor Tower). and you'll see that all 199 of them rely entirely on in-app microtransactions to achieve this status – Microsoft Minecraft at number 50 costs $ 6.99 to download but also offers in-app purchases on.
In 2013, the company closed a class action lawsuit that began after parents sued Apple for making in-app purchases too easy for kids. In 2014, Apple settled a case with the FTC through the same mechanism for $ 32 million. Earlier this year, a lawsuit filed against Apple challenged the legality of in-app purchases with “Loot Box,” which gives gamers randomized digital awards.
“Through the games that Apple sells through its AppStore and makes available to consumers for free, Apple engages in predatory practices that mislead consumers, including children, into violating this and other consumer protection and prohibition laws engage in similar addictive behavior Read the latest lawsuit.
This is of course not how Apple sees its role in the games industry. Apple presented its news in a statement to Business Insider responding to the company's rejection of Microsoft's xCloud.
The App Store was created to provide customers with a safe and trustworthy place to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before going to our shop, all apps are checked against the same guidelines, which protect customers and are intended to offer developers fair and equal competitive conditions.
Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can be absolutely launched on the App Store, provided they follow the same guidelines that apply to all developers, including custom submission of games for review and display on charts and at Search. In addition to the App Store, developers can reach all iPhone and iPad users on the Internet via Safari and other browsers in the App Store.
The effects were – quite obviously – not consistently negative, but Apple has played quickly and easily with industry changes if they benefit the mothership. I will not behave like Sony much and Microsoft's actions over the years have not offered gamers similar insults, but Apple has the industry-wide clout, too often running the world's largest gaming platform. Players should be careful when trusting the App Store owner to make decisions that have their best interests in their hearts.
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