KEY POINTS

  • In light of Apple not allowing Microsoft Cloud and Google Stadia on the App Store, Microsoft has issued a statement condemning the policy
  • Microsoft argues that Apple is denying consumers the benefits of its technology through unfair enforcement of its App Store rules
  • Microsoft has said in the past that it wants to make xCloud and its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription on mobile devices, including both Android and iOS devices

Following Apple’s decision not to allow Microsoft’s xCloud and Google Stadia to exist on the App Store, Microsoft has issued a statement condemning Apple over its stringent restrictions.

Apple earlier explained that the reason the company is not allowing those services on the App Store is because they cannot review individual games available on cloud platforms.

Other App Store guidelines also hinder cloud services from existing on iOS unless they are designed more like remote desktop software.

In a statement attributed to a Microsoft spokesperson, the company tells The Verge, “Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.”

Microsoft argues that Apple is denying consumers the benefits of its technology through unfair enforcement of its App Store rules. The software giant further accuses Apple of treating gaming apps unfairly while allowing other media services to exist on the platform even when they “include interactive content.”

That last part infers Netflix’s inclusion of interactive programming akin to text adventure games like last year’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.”

“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson tells The Verge.

Microsoft further says that Apple “consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”

Microsoft has said in the past that it wants to make xCloud and its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription on mobile devices, including both Android and iOS devices.

Furthermore, the company also references the ESRB and other regional equivalents to the US video game rating board as evidence that Apple could use third-party content evaluations in deciding whether to allow cloud gaming apps onto iOS.

Implying that it believes that review should be sufficient rather than having Apple apply its own policies to each individual game, Microsoft says, “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.”

Microsoft’s complete statement on the matter reads:

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.