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Home / Technology / Apple goes to war with the gaming industry – TechCrunch

Apple goes to war with the gaming industry – TechCrunch

Most gamers may not see Apple as a gaming company to the same extent they see Sony with the PlayStation or Microsoft with the Xbox, but the iPhone maker continues to steadily lead the industry with decisions made in the Apple App Store.

The company made headlines several times later this week for App Store approvals. Once for denying a gaming app, and another for approving one.

The denial was Microsoft’s xCloud gaming app, something the Xbox people didn’t care much about. Microsoft xCloud is one of the most significant Xbox software platforms that plays a lot of time, allowing gamers to get titles directly from the cloud and play keyboard-quality games on a number of devices. It̵

7;s a big effort that has been in sight for a while, but will likely officially launch next month. The app had been in a Testflight preview for iOS, but as Microsoft sought to push it towards primetime, Apple said not so fast.

The app that was approved was the Facebook Gaming app which Facebook has been trying to avoid through the App Store for months to no avail. It was finally approved on Friday after the company removed one of its two central features, a mobile gaming library. In a statement to the New York Times, Facebook COO on Facebook Sheryl Sandberg said, “Unfortunately, we had to completely remove the game’s functionality in order to get Apple’s approval on Facebook’s only gaming app. “

The Microsoft Xbox team also took the extremely aggressive step of calling on Apple in a statement where it reads, in part, “Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers of cloud gaming and gaming subscription services like the Xbox Game “Pass. And it constantly treats gaming apps differently, applying softer rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”

Microsoft is still a $ 1.61 trillion company, so do not think I am harassing the violin for them, but iOS is the largest gaming platform in the world, something CEO Tim Cook proudly announced when the company released its own gaming concurrence platform, Apple Arcade, last year. Apple loves to play at its own pace, and all of these gaming platforms appearing at the same time seem ready to beat them.

Credit for image: Microsoft

There are a few things about cloud gaming apps that seem contrary to some of the App Store rules, however these rules are, of course, just guidelines written by Apple. On Apple’s part, they basically said (full statement later) that the App Store had curators for a reason and that approving apps like these means they can’t individually review apps that compromise the App Store experience.

To say “reason” seems disparate because the company has long adopted platforms to operate in the App Store without stamping approval on individual pieces of content that can be accessed. With “Games” representing the most popular category of the App Store, Apple is likely to care a lot more about keeping their money straight.

The analysis by CNBC backed the total revenue of the Apple App 2019 to $ 50 billion.

When these cloud gaming platforms, like the xCloud scale with zero iOS support, millions of Apple customers, including me, will be disappointed that their iPhone can not do something that could be their friend’s phone. Playing keyboard class titles on the iPhone would be a significant feature update for consumers. There are about 90 million Xbox Live users out there, a considerable number of whom are iPhone owners I would imagine. The gaming industry is constantly gathering around gaming and cloud gaming concurrency networks as an action to encourage consumers to get more titles and discover more indie hits.

I have seen enough of these sagas to understand that sometimes the parties will start these fights simply as a tactic to get their way in the negotiations and avoid working ways, but it is a tactic that really only works when consumers have a reason to care. Most of the App Store developer space has been playing in the background and coming to light later, but at this point the Xbox team no doubt sees that Apple is not well positioned to wage an App Store battle between of the increased antitrust focus on a cause that seems entirely focused on maintaining their advantage in winning the games that consumers play on Apple screens.

CEO Tim Cook spent a lot of time in his Zoom Congress room answering questions about perceived incompetence in the company app store.

The big point of tension I can see happening behind closed doors is that quite a few of these titles offer in-game transactions and just because that in-app purchasing framework is being streamed directly from a cloud computer does not mean that a user is not ‘still using tried that content on an Apple device. I’m not sure if this is actually the point of discussion, but it seems to be a huge threat to app purchases in Apple’s vast ecosystem.

The App Store does not currently support cloud games on Nvidia or Google Stadia’s Gevorce platform which are also available on Android phones. Both of these platforms are more limited in scope than Microsoft’s offering which is expected to start with wider support and get wider adoption.

While I can understand Apple’s desire not to have flagship gaming titles that may not work properly on an iPhone due to system limitations, that argument does not apply so well to the cloud gaming world where apps are translating pressing the buttons in the cloud and the cloud is sending back the next frames made by their game engine. Apple is being forced to get pretty specific about what types of app media fall under the “reader” definition. The inherent interaction of a cloud gaming platform seems to be the differentiation that Apple is pushing here – as well as interfaces that allow players to stream titles directly with an interface that is much more specialized than some generic remote applications.

All of these platforms arrive after the company has already launched the Apple Arcade, a cloudless gaming product made in the image of what Apple would like to think are the values ​​it promotes in the gaming world: family friendly indie titles without intrusive ads, no annoying micro-transactions and Apple vigilant review.

Apple’s driver’s seat position in the gaming world has been far from an entirely positive impact on the industry. Apple has acted as a gatekeeper, but the fact is quite a lot of “innovations” pushed as a result of App Store policies have been great for Apple, but dubious for the development of a player-friendly industry.

Apple facilitated the advent of free-to-play games by boosting in-app purchases which have been recklessly abused over the years as studios have been irresistibly pushed to structure their titles around addiction principles. Mobile gaming has been one of the craziest areas of Wild West startup growth over the past decade, and Apple’s mechanics for speeding up transactions within these titles has moved things fast and broken.

Check out the 200 biggest gross games in the App Store (given through Sensor Tower) and you’ll see that all 199 of them rely solely on in-app micro-transactions to achieve that status – Microsoft’s Minecraft, ranked 50, costs $ 6.99 to download, though it also offers in-app purchases.

In 2013, the company filed a class action lawsuit that started after parents sued Apple because they found it too easy for kids to make in-app purchases. In 2014, Apple settled a case with the FTC over the same mechanism for $ 32 million. This year, a lawsuit filed against Apple questioned the legality of in-app purchases, which gave players digital occasional prizes.

“Through the games it sells and offers for free to consumers through the AppStore, Apple engages in predatory practices by attracting consumers, including children, to engage in gambling and similar addictive behavior contrary to this and other laws created for it. protect consumers and stop such practices, ”Read that most recent lawsuit.

This, of course, is not how Apple sees its role in the gaming industry. In a statement to Business Insider in response to the company’s denial of Microsoft XCloud, Apple released its messages.

The App Store was created to be a safe and reliable place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before going to our store, all applications are reviewed against the same set of guidelines aimed at protecting customers and providing a fair and equitable game to developers.

Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers and gaming services can absolutely launch in the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting individual games for review and submitting to table and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the network through Safari and other browsers in the App Store.

The impact has been – quite clearly – has not been uniformly negative, but Apple has played quickly and freely with changes in the industry when they benefit from the mother. I will not act like much Sony and Microsoft’s actions over the years have not provided similar aphorisms to players, but Apple operates across the industry it maintains, operating the largest gaming platform in the world, very often and players need to be wary of owner trust of the App Store to make decisions that have their best interests at heart.

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