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Apple: Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud iPhone Games Must Be Downloaded from App Store

(Image credit: Google)

In a revision to its guidelines that further regulates how apps are distributed on its mobile platform, Apple now mandates that games distributed on its iPhone and iPads from services like Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud must be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store, and not through the so-called “catalog apps” of these services. 

The revision comes as Apple battles Epic Games in federal court over how the latter’s Fortnite is distributed on Apple mobile devices. It also comes as Apple is on the cusp of releasing the next iteration of its mobile device operating system, iOS 14.

Also read: Epic Games Denied in Emergency Bid to Restore ‘Fortnite’ to Apple App Store

Apple’s moves in recent weeks to clamp down on how gaming apps are distributed in its platform is, of course, being closely watched by streaming video companies, which also must adhere to Apple’s iOS distribution and development edicts. 

As for Google and Microsoft, their respective Stadia and xCloud catalog apps are permitted to run on iOS, but with the condition that any app for any individual game provided by these services must have its own Apple App Store listing. The developers of these apps also must have the proper App Store credentials. 

Apple said the rules are put in place for the security of the iOS platform. 

Opponents of these rules, including Epic Games, say the restrictions financially benefit Apple, which collects 30% of revenue collected through apps distributed in the Apple App Store.