Apple has made a massive change in its App Store policies and options for developers of certain types of apps – including game streaming – which may pave the way for services like Xbox Cloud Gaming/Game Pass to finally appear on the platform as official apps, negating the need to access these through things like a web browser on iPhone and iPad devices.
The company has done away with some of the policies that were largely responsible for not allowing game streaming apps on the store, including the inability for Apple to review each game included on the service individually. It’s not putting the onus on game developers and app owners to ensure games on streaming services like Xbox’s meet the App Store’s standards. Naturally, another big part of the change is that Apple can incorporate its in-app purchase systems into these apps, meaning it’s hoping for a cut of subscription revenue should Microsoft see fit to launch a Game Pass app on the store.
“Today, Apple is introducing new options for how apps globally can deliver in-app experiences to users, including streaming games and mini-programs. Developers can now submit a single app with the capability to stream all of the games offered in their catalog.
“Apps will also be able to provide enhanced discovery opportunities for streaming games, mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins that are found within their apps.
“Additionally, mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins will be able to incorporate Apple’s In-App Purchase system to offer their users paid digital content or services for the first time, such as a subscription for an individual chatbot.
“Each experience made available in an app on the App Store will be required to adhere to all App Store Review Guidelines and its host app will need to maintain an age rating of the highest age-rated content included in the app.
“The changes Apple is announcing reflect feedback from Apple’s developer community and is consistent with the App Store’s mission to provide a trusted place for users to find apps they love and developers everywhere with new capabilities to grow their businesses. Apps that host this content are responsible for ensuring all the software included in their app meets Apple’s high standards for user experience and safety.”