Apple today revealed that, after stubbornly refusing to allow cloud gaming apps like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud onto the App Store, it’s now revising those policies to allow them entry — though the policies are still very restrictive.
The new rules have a whole section devoted to streaming games and how they’ll fit into the App Store ecosystem. They permit services to have App Store catalog apps, and access to Apple’s payment apparatus, but every game has to pass an individual review process. Here are the new sections in full:
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.