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Gaming

Microsoft reportedly agreed to launch Xbox exclusive Triple-A titles as individual apps on Apple App Store

By Sanuj Bhatia December 10, 2021, 8:30 am
microsoft apple iphone xbox cloud games

Microsoft's Xbox cloud streaming has quickly become a popular choice among cloud game streamers. However, it's now been an easy road for Microsoft. Even though bringing cloud gaming to Android was very easy for Microsoft, it wasn't on Apple's iOS and iPadOS due to the App Store policies. Now, a report from The Verge claims that Microsoft had initially negotiated to bring Triple-A Xbox game titles to the Apple ecosystem as individual apps.

The emails, seen by The Verge, suggest that Microsoft was willing to agree to a lot of terms just to bring the service to the App Store. These terms included bringing triple-A Xbox exclusive games to the iPhone, which would have been powered by xCloud.

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According to the email unearthed by The Verge, Apple wanted Microsoft to submit each app individually on the App Store. For those of you who don't know, Xbox Cloud Streaming on Android and other platforms offers users all the games in one place. However, Apple wanted Microsoft to submit each app individually. Microsoft initially expressed hesitation in doing the same. However, in March 2020, Microsoft agreed that the company would submit individual apps on the App Store while offering a catalog app linking out to them. While agreeing to the terms, Microsoft's head of business development Lori Wright told the App Store team that having Xbox titles on App Store would be an "incredibly exciting opportunity for iOS users."

Despite reaching a near agreement, Microsoft decided to go with the web-based solution for Xbox cloud streaming on iOS.

"Our proposal for bringing games through individual apps was designed to comply with App Store policies. It was denied by Apple based on our request that there be a single streaming tech app to support the individual game apps, as the initial email states. Forcing each game to include our streaming tech stack proved to be unrealistic from a support and engineering perspective and would create an incredibly negative experience for customers," reads a statement from Xbox Cloud Gaming CVP Kareem Choudhry to The Verge.

In-app purchase was also an issue in the deal. Since most of the apps and games on xCloud have additional purchases, Microsoft wanted to handle all the in-app purchases using their own system. Apple, on the other hand, wanted a share of purchase as an in-app purchasing fee. App Store‌ games manager Mark Grimm, in an email, wrote "their [Microsoft's] proposal for IAPs is still that they process all IAPs on their existing system and settle up with us (either in real-time or monthly)."

Apple in an email confirmed to The Verge that the deal indeed fell off due to the in-app purchase requirements.

"Unfortunately, Microsoft proposed a version of xCloud that was not compliant with our App Store Review Guidelines, specifically the requirement to use in-app purchase to unlock additional features or functionality within an app," reads a statement via Apple spokesperson Adam Dema.

On the other hand, Xbox Cloud Gaming CVP Kareem Choudhry told The Verge that in-app purchases weren't an issue. But it was rather due to Apple's rejection of Microsoft's proposal on the implementation of Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS. To this date, both Microsoft cloud game streaming and Google's Stadia remain available as web-based apps on iOS and iPadOS.

Via: The Verge

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