Amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, Apple has revised its App Store guidelines. The move comes ahead of the release of the latest version of the iPhone operating system. The iOS 14 is expected to be released later this month. The guidelines for the App Store are important as its employees follow them to deny or approve apps and updates on the App Store. Several app makers have criticized these rules in recent weeks and argue the smartphone maker has too much control over what kind of software runs on the iPhone. These guidelines also decide how the iPhone maker takes a cut of payments from apps that will be allowed on the App Store. Apple is currently involved in a fierce battle with Fortnite creator after the game was removed from its App Store last month.
One of the updates in guidelines is related to game streaming services. Facebook and Microsoft have publicly vented their anger saying that rules have restricted what their gaming apps are capable of doing on iPads and iPhones. Facebook’s gaming app lacks games on App Store and xCloud service of Microsoft is not available on iOS. The California based company has now stated that game streaming services such as Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia are explicitly permitted. But there are certain conditions like games offered in the service are required to be downloaded directly from the App Store. They will not be allowed to be downloaded from an all-in-one app. App makers have been allowed to release a so-called ‘catalog app.’ The app allows linking to other games in the service but every game must be required to have an individual app.
The new rules by Apple mean that if there are 100 games of a particular streaming game service, each one of those games will be required to have an individual App Store listing. The individual games available on the App Store need to offer in-app purchases via Apple’s payment processing system. Under this system, Apple usually takes 30 per cent of revenue. A Microsoft representative said that it would not be a good experience for gamers as they want to directly start a game from the curated catalog within an app instead of being forced to have over 100 apps to play different games from the cloud.