Apple confirmed in a statement to Business Insider on Thursday that various game services cannot appear on the App Store. Apple wants to pre-approve all games offered on the game services. According to Microsoft, game service provider xCloud, this is an untenable position.
Apple says that cloud services like xCloud and Google Stadia violate the App Store guidelines and that these services cannot exist on Apple's iOS operating system in their current form. Because the games run on game servers such as Microsoft and Google on the servers of those companies, Apple cannot check whether they meet the conditions of the platform.
"Game services are welcome on the App Store as long as they follow the rules that apply to all developers," said Apple. "Then all games offered on these services should be individually reviewed by us."
In a statement to The Verge , Microsoft says that Apple treats game services "consistently differently" by "applying more flexible rules to non-gaming apps." The company also emphasizes that all games on the Game Pass are approved by ratings agencies.
Microsoft will add its game streaming platform xCloud to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription in September. With xCloud, users can stream games from servers. As a result, a game console is not necessary and a controller and screen are sufficient. For Microsoft, Apple's position means that iOS users cannot use the xCloud.
App Store under magnifying glass
Apple's App Store is already under a magnifying glass. The European Commission is currently investigating whether Apple has an unfair competitive position with the App Store. Developers have to donate 30 percent of the income from purchases made by consumers in apps to Apple.
Spotify complained to the European Commission last year about this "unfair" rule that Apple uses on its platform. This puts Spotify at a disadvantage compared to the competing music service Apple Music, which does not have to pay the 30 percent allowance.