Apple has confirmed that cloud gaming apps such as Project xCloud violate its App Store policies.
As reported by Business Insider, the reason for the tech firm keeping Microsoft's app – and Google Stadia – off its App Store is due to its policy stating that each game needs to be reviewed on an individual basis. The Project xCloud application was expired on August 5th, effectively bringing its iOS preview testing to an end.
"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 to developers," said an Apple spokesperson.
Moreover, Apple has insisted that the rules are in place to ensure its consumers are safe and can enjoy the offerings on the storefront. The company also stressed that all developers must adhere to the guidelines, with no exceptions being made. Furthermore, not only do all games need to be reviewed, but they must also be searchable on the App Store.
"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 all developers, including submitting games individually for review and appearing in charts and search," said Apple in a statement.
"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."
However, as reported by The Verge, Microsoft has not taken the decision well; rather, it has pointed out – perhaps rightly so – that Apple's decision not to approve Project xCloud prevents its users from experiencing exciting technology.
Furthermore, the big M did not hesitate to point out the hypocrisy that Apple is known to show. It insisted the iOS creator bends its own rules for non-gaming apps – "it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content."
Back in February, 10,000 Apple customers were given beta access to the streaming platform, although this was limited to Canada, the UK and US. However, by this point, the Android version had not only been tested extensively, but it was also being rolled out to a further 11 countries in Western Europe.
"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," said Microsoft in a statement.
But, despite the issues it is facing, Microsoft is committed to bringing its cloud gaming platform to iOS users. The American firm pointed out that all of its games are approved via various games rating firms such as the ESRB. As such, all titles via Xbox Game Pass should pass Apple's strict criteria. Furthermore, the company has insisted that its customers are at it the heart of what it does, and the decisions it takes.
"All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue are rated for content by independent industry rating 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."
For those with an Android device, the cloud gaming service makes its way to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and will be available to mobile devices via Google Play from September 15th. Players will be able to share their progress between their console and smartphone - not only that, but they will get immediate access to Xbox exclusives such as the upcoming Halo Infinite.