Apple has officially confirmed that it will not allow Cloud gaming services from Microsoft, Google, and Nvidia into its App Store, as they violate company policy. Why did this happen?
What is Cloud gaming and what are its benefits?
Cloud gaming technology allows the users to play using the power not of their device, but remote servers. This eliminates the need to spend money on upgrading your PC or console, getting access to the most demanding games through a high-speed Internet connection. The player pays to the service either for a subscription or for the number of hours spent in the game.
The largest IT companies have already assessed the prospects for Cloud gaming by launching their own services. Notable foreign apps include Stadia from Google, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, and Microsoft’s upcoming xCloud launch soon.
As it turns out, none of these services will be available for iOS devices because Apple doesn’t allow them in the App Store.
What is the essence of the conflict between the two IT giants?
Apple’s claims are that Google and Microsoft services violate App Store policies. Store moderators cannot check every game that is available in such applications, which means that they cannot track their performance and compliance with security requirements. Microsoft believes that these rules are unfair in relation to competitors and accuses Apple of creating a monopoly.
The Apple Arcade game service works on a different principle, which, after purchasing a subscription, gives the user access to those games that were previously hidden from him. But these restrictions are often circumvented. In the end, always the best free VPN that any user can use to completely anonymize their identity at will.
Microsoft was outraged by Apple’s approach to Cloud gaming, which some experts see as the technology of the future. The company claims that Apple is denying its customers access to the benefits of such services due to unfair App Store rules.
The conflict between Microsoft and Apple has a historical background
Microsoft and Apple entered the global market more than 40 years ago, but until 2006, the tech giants’ marketing policies did not involve direct competition using promotions.
The situation was changed by a series of videos “Get a Mac”, pointing to imperfections in the Windows OS. The Apple advertising company has changed the way it works with competing firms. Now the number of all active Apple devices worldwide exceeds 1.5 billion units, and the Windows 10 operating system is installed on more than 800 million devices worldwide (about 15% of the total).
Besides, interest in cloud services has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, when users have more free time. This allowed Apple to improve its income, from May to July, the company’s revenue was $ 59.7 billion, and net profit – $ 11.3 billion.
What can we expect next?
Overall, Apple’s Current position is clear. The company plans to maintain a monopoly on the market, preventing the development of the Microsoft xCloud gaming service. In this situation, Apple’s position will largely depend on the opinion of the gaming community, which can stand up for Microsoft by asking Apple to provide access to the App Store.
Thirteen companies so far, including Spotify, Epic Games, and the Match Group, have formed a coalition against Apple. The organization’s goal is “to protect freedom of choice and fair competition in the application ecosystem.” The association is officially called the “Coalition for App Fairness” (CAF). On its website, the coalition has posted a list of three main issues that the community does not like:
1) Anti-competitive practices. CAF claims that Apple is manipulating store rules to please itself.
2) The size of the commission is 30%. From a CAF perspective, App Store commissions take a huge chunk of revenue from developers. This ultimately drives up prices and makes it difficult to compete with Apple’s services.
3) Lack of freedom of choice among consumers. CAF believes that restrictions on the online store are detrimental to all parties. The coalition compares the App Store to a prison “paid by consumers and from which developers cannot escape.”
Apple has not yet officially commented on the creation of the coalition. However, the company has repeatedly stated that the rules in the App Store are fair and protect users from low-quality and harmful content. Also, argued that the 30% commission is justified and is also used in other marketplaces.