Remember when Apple purported to let cloud gaming providers like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia into the App Store while basically shredding their business models? Microsoft’s confidential emails have now shown that the company attempted to negotiate with Apple to bring Xbox exclusive games to the iPhone and iPad.
The negotiation did not end up well…
Apple has been convinced about the availability of cloud gaming apps on the iPhone and iPad. It asked all cloud gaming firms to release their games to iOS users separately if they wanted to be part of the iPhone ecosystem. Microsoft officially refused to accept Apple’s requests, but within the company, things were different.
At one point, Microsoft was ready to concede several of Apple’s requests merely to ensure that its cloud gaming service was available on iOS. To sweeten the deal, Microsoft assured Apple that it will deliver AAA games to the iPhone. If Apple had agreed to Microsoft’s proposal, titles like Halo Infinite would have been available on the iPhone’s App Store, and all processing would have taken place on the company’s Xbox One and Xbox Series X processors rather than the iPhone.
In a statement Apple stated that the in-app purchase issue was one of the reasons for not putting xCloud on the App Store.
Was the REAL issue?
Unfortunately, Microsoft presented an xCloud version that violated our App Store Review Guidelines, notably the necessity to use in-app purchases to unlock extra features or functionality within an app.
Microsoft has discovered a way to provide Xbox exclusive games to iPhone and iPad users via web browsers, and the firm says it will continue to work on bringing specific titles such as Minecraft to iOS. Unfortunately, Apple appears unwilling to reconsider its decision to allow streaming gaming platforms on the App Store.
Microsoft and Apple may argue, but the idea of Halo Infinite coming to iOS is dead, which is a blow for the gaming world. For the time being, users may use the Safari browser to access Xbox’s cloud gaming service – at least until Microsoft or Apple come up with a better solution.