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What Apple?s new rules actually say about streaming Xbox and Stadia games to iPhone

iOS App Store
Business Insider
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the App Store
Electronic Arts
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Ben Thompson

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Google Stadia


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The New York Times
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Apple has changed the rules.One month after suggesting its iOS App Store guidelines would bar cloud gaming services like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud from appearing on an iPhone or iPad, the company has now overhauled those rules, telling journalists last Friday that Google and Microsoft’s streaming games are actually welcome after all.But if you know how cloud game services operate, and then look at Apple’s actual written rules, you’ll see that’s only technically true. If I understand correctly, the reality is one of two things: Either 1) Apple is asking Microsoft, Google and others to turn their streaming game services into an entirely new category of standalone app which guarantees Apple a profit — a kind of app that’s rarely existed on iOS before, and one that Apple itself called “not appropriate” just last year.Or 2) Apple’s new guidelines aren’t designed to be anything but an attempt to confuse — a way to get the world to think Apple’s not actually rejecting the future of gaming, while simultaneously erecting so many roadblocks that companies like Google and Microsoft would never dream of taking Apple up on the offer.It occurs to me, though, that you might not know how cloud gaming services operate. What Apple is asking for would create a new category of app on the App Store, a type of thin-client game with better graphics than anything you can currently play on an iPhone or iPad — but one that’s almost entirely under Apple’s control.A generous interpretation might be that Apple’s hoping one of Google and Microsoft’s rivals will build a new cloud gaming service around that idea — they’d need the server and network infrastructure, which is which is why companies like Microsoft and Google are currently seen as front-runners in the space, but they’re not the only ones capable of fielding the tech. It’s not hard to imagine a major ISP becoming a cloud gaming giant with Apple’s blessing, too.But to Google and Microsoft, the new rules probably sound an awful lot like this: “Yes, you can offer a cloud gaming subscription service if you also individually submit every single game and future game update to the App Store for review, make downloadable thin clients for each one, let people buy them individually so we get a cut of revenue, give us a cut of your subscription revenue too, set up their App Store pages, and give us the customer relationship as well.”Regardless of how you feel about whether Apple deserves 30 percent of anything that appears on an iPhone or iPad — Epic is taking that entire idea to court with its Fortnite fight — this is a tremendous number of hoops to jump through, when no other category of streaming content on the App Store requires every piece of content to be individually submitted to Apple for review.

As said here by Sean Hollister