If you’ve already launched a cloud gaming service, you may have noticed that you can’t access it from your iPhone or iPad. Current Apple rules prevent manufacturers of cloud gaming and cloud computing services from offering an app in the App Store.
Shadow’s iPhone and iPad apps from the App Store were recently rejected. And if you’re looking for GeForce Now, xCloud, Sony PS Now, or even Google Stadia customers on iPhone and iPad, you won’t find them. As stated in Bloomberg, Apple’s current rules prevent manufacturers of cloud games and cloud services from offering an app in the App Store.
An unfair clause? It’s complicated …
When playing in cloud games or using cloud computing, iPad and iPhone act as clients for access to services, which is a simple access interface. Why is Apple blocking this access? In the conditions for approving an application in the App Store, we find this paragraph as underlined by 9to5mac:
You can offer a single subscription that is shared between your own applications and services. However, these subscriptions cannot be extended to third-party applications or services. Games offered in a game subscription must belong to the developer or be the subject of an exclusive license (e.g. not part of a platform for the publication of games). Each game must be downloaded directly from the app store, must be designed in such a way that double payments by a subscriber are avoided and must not disadvantage customers who are not subscribed to.
As written, the clause disqualifies all cloud gaming services. Indeed, GeForce Now, Shadow, xCloud, PS Now and Stadia provide access to gaming platforms or games whose license is not exclusive.
Until Apple changes this rule, it seems difficult to see the arrival of an iPad or iPhone client for GeForce Now, Shadow, xCloud, PS Now, and Stadia. A strange decision to know that there are many VNC clients (VNC Viewer or TeamViewer) in the App Store that allow remote access to the operating system. What is the difference between a VNC client that connects to Windows 10 and a shadow client that connects to Windows 10? Not much.
The highly criticized App Store
Game licensing rules seem to be the most complicated, even when Apple advertised its arcade service. Apple will never be able to generate 30% of the sales of all games available in cloud games as this would require significant changes to the games offered in cloud games. Apple’s position is sensitive as the app store is increasingly being addressed by states that view it as an anti-competitive review of platforms.
At the end of 2019, Spotify had held Apple responsible for the 30% commission charged on subscriptions. The ban on referring users to a subscription on the service site is also criticized, for example via a link in the application: Payment must be made via invoicing in the App Store. In addition, Spotify, like Netflix, has decided to forego the Apple system altogether. Finally Many companies also complain about fluctuating validation rules in the App Store.
Apple is under the microscope of European and American regulators
Apple is under the microscope of European and American regulators. It is very likely that the rules will change soon. Aside from the fact that the Siri Assistant is already changing, an application other than messaging and phone can be used by default.
Note: Ulrich Rozier, co-founder of Humanoid, is a shareholder of the Blade group (Shadow)