KEY POINTS

  • Apple introduced new App Store rules, seemingly in response to the backlash over its "monopolistic" handling of the platform
  • The changes, however, don't give game streaming apps a lot of freedom
  • Microsoft criticized Apple's new App Store terms for game streaming services as a "bad experience for customers"

Apple has updated its rules to allow some game streaming services, specifically Microsoft's xCloud and Google's Stadia, on the App Store. However, it seems Microsoft does not approve of the Cupertino tech giant's new terms.

While its new policy makes it appear like Apple is finally giving more room for potential Apple Arcade rivals, the reality is that it isn't. This move, according to a Microsoft spokesperson, will remain a “bad experience for customers.”

“Gamers want to jump directly into a game from their curated catalog within one app just like they do with movies or songs, and not be forced to download over 100 apps to play individual games from the cloud,” the spokesperson said in a statement to IGN. “We’re committed to putting gamers at the center of everything we do, and providing a great experience is core to that mission.”

Microsoft's response comes after Apple published its New App Store Review Guidelines.

Apple has been under fire in recent months over its alleged monopolistic behavior over the apps and software that gets installed on every iPhone. Some of the companies that spoke out against the company include Microsoft, Facebook and “Fortnite” developer Epic Games.

One of the complaints made against the iPhone maker is that it didn't allow game streaming apps, such as the Facebook Gaming app, for example, on the App Store as apps of this kind do not meet the App Store's policies.

Apple sought to address this with its new App Store terms. But while the changes might sound good to those who want to get their hands on more games via Microsoft's xCloud and Google's Stadia, they come with a catch.

According to the new rules, “streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines.” These guidelines will include, of all things, submitting each game offered on the streaming services as a standalone app.

“Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the user’s device, etc,” Apple stated.

Simply put, iPhone users will be able to download and install Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia onto their devices, but they won't be able to get the games that are supposed to be accessed via the platforms.

Microsoft and Google will still need to publish each title separately from their streaming apps, and users will still need to download each game individually.

Google is offering its Stadia online game service for free during the pandemic Google is offering its Stadia online game service for free during the pandemic Photo: AFP / INA FASSBENDER