It looks like the Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud streaming game services aren̵
Here is an excerpt from the new section of the Review Guidelines, 4.9:
4.9 Streaming Games
Streaming games are allowed as long as they meet all guidelines. For example, every game update needs to be submitted for review, developers need to provide appropriate metadata for searching, games need to use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there are always the open internet and web browser apps, to reach all users outside of the US Appstore.
- 4.9.1 Every streaming game must be submitted to the Appstore as an individual app so that it has one Appstore Product page, appears on charts and in search, has user ratings and ratings, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on user’s device, etc.
- 4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the Appstore to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the site Appstore, provided the app complies with all guidelines, including the ability to pay for a subscription when purchasing in-app and sign in to Apple. All games contained in the catalog app must be linked to a person Appstore Product page.
If you don’t want to read the legal language, the essential thing is that, while streaming services are technically available on iOS, every single game offered for these services must A) act as a separate app with its own listing in the App Store and b) pass Apple’s rigorous review process as if it were its own app.
In addition, all game streaming services must offer in-app purchases for games, DLC and microtransactions through logging into Apple and the App Store’s payment processing system. That means Apple will be cut by 30%. This is at the heart of the company’s current conflict with Epic Games.
It’s worth noting that Apple doesn’t apply the same strict rubric on non-game streaming services. Not every video on YouTube or Netflix needs a separate iOS app with its own approval process.
While streaming game services could work within these guidelines, it is unlikely that any of them will be ready, at least at this early stage in the streaming service platforms. GeForce NOW and Xbox Game Streaming both offer hundreds of titles, Stadia has dozens. Publishing all of these games (or accessing them) as individual apps is a huge waste of time and money, not to mention maintaining each title individually or the cost of sharing the revenue on all game purchases.
Some see this as an indication that Apple is interested in its own game streaming platform. If I can spit a little: I don’t see it. Apple has shown no interest in the type of technology backbone that would require it. If you’re looking for a competitive aspect here, then you should check out the Apple Arcade Subscription. It follows Apple’s own guidelines for downloading and approving individual games, and of course, it benefits Apple immensely for both first-time and recurring purchases.
We expect Microsoft, Google, and others to respond to this more explicit description of Apple’s guidelines for streaming games. If any of them say they are ready to meet the terms, we will be surprised and excited to report it.
Source: Apple via CNBC