Apple should be the biggest and brightest name in the gaming world as it has the most profitable, popular, and populated software distribution system around the globe. Apple asks every developer to work on their terms. Apple controls every hardware released by their company. When it comes to tablet, mobile, and TV products, Apple has a consistent development environment. Since the introduction of the third dimension, the largest hit in gaming is the Nintendo Switch. In contrast, Apple’s prized creation, the iPhone, is one controller case away from doom. Apple should have ruled the gaming world by now, but it hasn’t.
Apple’s belief about the future of gaming is so unclear that they are unable to see the bigger picture. Apple released its game console the Pippin in 1996, but no one remembers it. Apple couldn’t understand video gaming due to its countless iteration over the year.
If you think that Apple doesn’t earn much money in gaming, then you are wrong. The number of games available on Apple’s network is substantial. Apple has surplus bad quality apps which use gambling mechanics and slick microtransaction schemes. App Store by Apple basically mints a local bank every day with these apps. Apple doesn’t care about the principles or critical response of its network’s most admired titles as it is far too addicted to mainlining cash.
Services like game streaming can’t get an app on the App Store due to Apple’s current rules. The rules forbid an app from acting as a game store and prohibit them from containing content from other publishers. These rules will inhibit promising services like xCloud, PS Now, GeForce Now, and Google Stadia from accessing iPhone and iPad customers.
For refusing to permit game streaming services into the App Store, significant-tech and gaming firms slammed Apple. Many companies are trying to launch a service where users can play games on a mobile device. These games will have graphical reliability of a high-end PC or console with the inherent latency of streaming as a tradeoff.
Companies are annoyed because they cannot launch on iOS, and their platforms are unsuited with App Store guidelines. Meanwhile, Apple is promoting Apple Arcade, a game subscription service. Apple integrated this service on every iOS 13 devices in the App Store. However, Apple allows library apps to exist for other types of content like music, ebook stores, and magazines services. These Apple’s rules about not allowing more than one partner game in a game library app are bizarre.
The usual issues third-party apps face around Apple’s In-App Purchase rules further complicate the regulations specific to game licensing. The apps would have to allow all in-game upgrades available as In-App Purchases even if the games could make it to the App Store. The third-party services would have to do more work to let Apple capture 30% of revenues.
Just because perfectly legal game console emulation apps could encourage piracy, Apple doesn’t allow them into its store. Apple withdrew Fortnite from the App Store for breaking their rules when Epic added a direct payment option to its mobile game. According to Apple’s developer guideline 4.7, HTML5 games are allowed to appear inside other apps until the “code distribution isn’t the main motive of the app.”
Facebook appealed Apple’s decision because it badly wanted their Facebook Gaming app on the iPhone. Facebook gaming app has a feature of Instant Games, and 95% of this app’s activity involves hosting or watching game streams as an alternative to playing the games themselves. Apple ban services like Google’s Stadia game streaming services and Microsoft’s Project xCloud. Apple forbade these services supposedly because the company can’t review every game that is available on these platforms. A variety of content is available on Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, or HBO, etc. This content wouldn’t be able to go by the App Store Review Guidelines if it were in an app. It is entirely indefensible to try and stop any product ever sold from being used for illegal or unethical purposes. Anyone can use an iPhone to hire a hitman, but Apple won’t pull mobile iPhones off the market for that.
When game streaming breaks into the mainstream gamers will move to the devices on which will offer it. All the casual apps and games provided by Apple’s App Store are already present in Android’s Play Store. Soon with these streaming apps, it will also have every modern PC, PlayStation, and Xbox game. Alongside emulators, it will offer every title in gaming history, too. Apple needs to understand the current trends of the gaming world and let go of its discriminatory policies and rules. If Apple wants to remain Apple, it must offer the same services its competitors do in a safer, sleeker, faster, cleaner, and more exclusive package.