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Apple's refusal to list games from Facebook, Google and Microsoft on App Store infuriates tech giants

Apple refused to publish games on the App Store stating that the tech giants did not give individual games for review.

twitter-logoYasmin Ahmed | August 10, 2020 | Updated 17:45 IST


  • Apple’s App Store policies require companies to submit individual games for review.
  • Apple said games are different from music and movies as they are interactive.
  • Facebook said because of Apple's policies, iOS users will have to settle with inferior gaming experience.

Apple has refused to list games from Microsoft's Game Pass, Google's Stadia, and Facebook's Gaming App on App Store. This is because the tech giants won't submit individual games to Apple for a review, as per a report by Business Insider.

Apple does not review content from streaming services or Music apps like Netflix or Spotify. This is because these services are not interactive, like games are, according to Apple. Consumers have certain expectations when they look for games on the App Store, Apple states. They look for game content, but also searchability, in-app payment through Apple's built-in services and App Store charts.

"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review and appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store," Apple in a statement said.

Apple's decision to review each game and multiple rejections did not go well with the tech giants.

Addressing developers and players, Facebook's Gaming Account on Twitter said, "After months of submissions and repeated rejections by Apple, we've had to remove instant games entirely from the standalone app. Apple rejected the app claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. It's not. ~95% of app activity on Android is from watching live streams. We shared this stat with Apple, but no luck. We can afford to spend ~6 months grinding thru Apple reviews, but many others can't."

Google removed the Google Stadia app from iOS and Microsoft's Game pass streaming service will only be available to Android smartphones and tablets starting September 15.

"Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. It consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

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