This was seen as a move to appease the anger of the developer community amid Apple’s legal battle with Epic.
Just earlier this month, Apple also announced that cloud gaming apps are not allowed to be put on iOS, but to this day, Apple has changed its attitude. Apple said it had relaxed instructions on the App Store for cloud gaming platforms such as Microsoft xCloud, Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now.
Despite this, Apple still restricts how users pay for these gaming platforms, and they still charge a 30% commission on in-game transactions.
According to Apple’s announcement, the above services are allowed to stream games to players, meaning they can store games on cloud servers and send images to users so they can access the game without downloading or even playing games right on unsus supported devices.
However, under new Apple guidelines, each game purchased by users on streaming services must still be downloaded from the App Store and paid for through Apple’s in-app purchase system (and as such Apple still enjoys a 30% commission). Moreover, these apps must also add the option to sign in with an Apple account.
In addition, not all game streaming services are supported under the new instructions. While microsoft, Google, and Nvidia services are approved, the Facebook Gaming app is still not allowed to sell “instant games” in its app.
While both Google and Nvidia declined to comment, Microsoft remained unhappy about the new policy: “This is still just a bad experience for customers. Players want direct access to the game from their catalog inside the app, as they do with movies and music, and are not forced to download more than 100 apps to play separate games in the cloud.”
Apple said it wants individual games listed on the App Store so they can assess whether they meet the terms and instructions for their content.
Currently, this change means that users will need to subscribe to game streaming services through Apple’s in-app payment system – so that the company can earn a 30% commission. However, if a customer has subscribed to this service at another platform, they can still log in without paying twice as much.
Another change in Apple’s policy this time is for apps such as kindle and Netflix, which are having to require users to sign up for a new account on the web or other platform, instead of iOS. Now with the new changes, these apps are also offered to open an account right on iOS for free products.
The same applies to developers who offer separate apps for free. This appears to be related to recent disputes between Apple and apps such as WordPress or Basecamp’s Hey email app. These free apps are appeared on iOS, as long as it has no in-app transactions or does not call for paid users on another platform.
Payments between individuals by other payment methods, in addition to the App Store’s in-app purchase system, are also allowed by Apple. This makes it easier for health care services to work when users can pay for the medical check-up directly at no cost to Apple. But if a one-person payment arises for multiple people, the app still has to use the in-app purchase system.
It is clear that with a series of new updates on its App Store policy, Apple is trying to appease the developer community that is increasingly resentful of its rigid, at times harsh and harsh management policies. This is becoming more important when Apple is facing Epic – a battle that if Epic wins, iOS app developers will be the biggest beneficiaries.