Recently, Apple has revised its App Store Review Guidelines in order to allow streaming services on iOS. This means that services such as Nvidia GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Microsoft xCloud are now able to access iOS. However, Apple is demanding a 30% cut on game sales. Although this allows the world of game-streaming to join iOS, there is uncertainty over whether the opportunity is worth it for the streaming services.
What are game streaming services?
Game streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Stadia essentially provide a high-quality gaming experience for any device. These services host the game in Cloud Servers and the user connects to them and receives a video of the gameplay. This allows users to play games, that may not even be supported on their device, without download. For example, with Google Stadia, you could play Red Dead Redemption 2 on a mobile device.
Before, streaming services had all the revenue directed straight to them. This meant that Apple would not get their standard 30% cut.
What are the new guidelines?
- 4.9 Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.
- 4.9.1 Each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual app so that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, has user ratings and review, can be managed with ScreenTime and other parental control apps, appears on the user’s device, etc.
- 4.9.2 Streaming game services may offer a catalog app on the App Store to help users sign up for the service and find the games on the App Store, provided that the app adheres to all guidelines, including offering users the option to pay for a subscription with in-app purchase and use Sign in with Apple. All the games included in the catalog app must link to an individual App Store product page.
Apple has altered the App Store Review Guidelines as shown in the above extract. Streaming services are now allowed on iOS devices, but with some additional rules. Each separate streamable game must have its own App Store page. Then, like normal, 30% of the money earned from each download of the streamable game goes to Apple. Services can also provide a catalog app, however, an App Store page must be provided for each game.
To add to this, within each separate app, Apple will refuse to allow ads, reviews, or anything as such. The focus of each individual app must only be on providing the game-streaming experience.
How does this affect anyone?
With these new guidelines, Apple is allowing the use of streaming services on iOS, however, each separate game requires its own separate app. This means that 30% of revenue from each game goes to Apple. Although this doesn’t affect the player as much (price will be the same), the streaming services will be most affected. Since Apple will be expecting 30% of the revenue, it is up to the streaming services to decide whether this opportunity is worth it. Will they decide to take this opportunity, bring their services to IOS, but end up suffering a loss of 30% of the revenue? Or will they decide to avoid IOS as a whole in order to maintain revenue/profit levels? We will soon find out.
In conclusion, Apple has now allowed streaming services on iOS. However, be aware that Apple will be taking 30% of the revenue. It is up to the streaming services to decide on whether they still want to introduce their services on iOS.
How excited are you on the news that Apple has approved online game streaming on iOS devices? Let us know in the comment section below!