Apple blocks Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia from the App Store, leaving Android as the only mobile OS for cloud gaming
Microsoft is scheduled to launch its xCloud game streaming service on September 15th and the company has already released a partial list of titles that will be supported at launch. Much like NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW cloud gaming service, xCloud will let users enjoy a wide variety of Xbox and PC games on their smartphones and tablets. However, according to a recent report from Business Insider, the service won’t be available on Apple devices.
Apple has reportedly blocked both Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia cloud gaming services from the App Store as they are in violation of the platform’s guidelines. In a statement to Business Insider, an Apple spokesperson said:
“The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field for developers.
Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store.”
The statement essentially means that since Microsoft isn’t submitting each game offered through xCloud for review, its app has been blocked from being launched on the App Store. Microsoft has condemned Apple’s App Store policies and in a statement to The Verge, a spokesperson from the company said:
“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.”
As of now, it’s safe to say that Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service won’t be making its way to iOS devices this September. While the company claims that it’s committed to bringing the service to iOS devices, it currently hasn’t revealed any information about how it plans to circumvent Apple’s stringent App Store policies.