Microsoft tried to negotiate with Apple to publish Xbox games on the App Store


Last year, Microsoft had to abandon its plan to bring the xCloud game streaming platform to iOS as a native app due to guidelines from the App Store. Now private emails from Microsoft have revealed that the company has tried to negotiate with Apple to bring Xbox exclusive games to iPhone and iPad.

Private emails have been viewed by The edge, which reports that Microsoft has in fact tried various ways to bring its games to the Apple App Store. The company started testing xCloud for iOS in February 2020, but the app was shut down in August 2020 after Apple said the service would not be allowed on the App Store.

Instead of running the games locally, xCloud streams games that run on Microsoft servers, so users can play them on any device. Apple, however, says apps that work as alternatives to the App Store are banned and only allow streaming games if they’re released as individual apps.

Emails between Xbox Business Development Manager Lori Wright and several members of the App Store team show Microsoft has expressed concerns about how the release of games as individual apps would be impractical not only because of technical challenges, but also because it would frustrate customers.

We believe that the issues described here will create frustration and confusion for customers, resulting in a poor experience on Apple devices compared to the equivalent experience on all other platforms.

At one point, Microsoft offered to release the games as separate shortcuts rather than actual apps. That way, each game would have its own App Store page with individual description and reviews, but they would all redirect the user to the Xbox Game Pass app. Unsurprisingly, Apple rejected the request.

Wright attempted to argue with Apple that it would be an opportunity for the company to point out that iPhone and iPad devices have triple-A titles available on the App Store, but that doesn’t appear to have convinced the Cupertino-based company.

It would be an incredibly exciting opportunity for iOS users to access these exclusive AAA titles in addition to Game Pass games.

Other emails show that Microsoft believes the reason Apple rejected its proposals was money, as most games have additional paid content that would not be sold through the company’s in-app purchases. App Store. Apple confirmed in a statement The edge that the in-app purchase issue was one of the reasons xCloud was not allowed on the App Store.

Unfortunately, Microsoft offered a version of xCloud that did not meet our App Store review guidelines, specifically the requirement to use in-app purchase to unlock additional features or functionality in an app. .

Microsoft has now found a way to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to iPhone and iPad users through web browsers, and the company says it will continue to work to bring individual titles like Minecraft to iOS. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t seem willing to change its decision to allow game streaming platforms in the App Store.

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