Facebook COO blames Apple for restrictions in gaming app for iOS users

Facebook, Microsoft gripes with Apple's App Store on EU's antitrust radar

While other streaming apps have been allowed to operate on the App Store, for developers this has often come as a compromise.

"Citing App Store guideline 4.7, Apple rejected the app claiming the primary objective of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games", the company wrote.

According to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the company managed to launch an iOS version of its gaming app after it was "forced to make a concession to bring it to the App Store", reports CNBC.

'We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform'. Apple did initially block Steam Link when it launched a year ago, but Valve appealed and was able to get its app approved on the basis that it was essentially a remote desktop client. xCloud, Stadia, and the rest seem to be in a much tighter spot.

Microsoft then announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers would get xCloud starting September 15, 2020.

"Apple stands alone as the only general objective platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass", the company added. After Microsoft, Facebook has openly criticized Apple's policies for the App Store.

"Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired".


We are yet to see whether Apple will manage to keep its ecosystem closed from cloud gaming for long.

These types of problems were bound to happen, with Geforce Now only being accessible via android phones only, but this service allows you to access games you already own, but with XCloud they allow you to play games on the go without the need of a console.

There are options open to them - such as changing the core functionality of their service that prevents users from buying games - as Valve did with Steam Link. Exceptions to this have been few, such as the aforementioned Atari Greatest Hits app, but this was a long time ago and also involved a collection of games that were arguably too simple to justify being released as individual apps.

Not having xCloud available to iOS users would be a big roadblock for Microsoft's cloud gaming ambitions. "It's not. ~95% of app activity on Android is from watching livestreams". None of these services have launched on iOS, and now we know why.

"The Application Store was produced to be a safe and sound and trusted area for customers to discover and download apps, and a fantastic enterprise prospect for all builders", Apple said. While Facebook runs the world's largest social network and owns many popular apps such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, Apple controls their distribution through its App Store.

Apple's moves have created "shared pain across the games industry, which ultimately hurts players and developers and severely hamstrings innovation on mobile for other types of formats like cloud gaming", said Vivek Sharma, Facebook's vice president for gaming.

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