When we think about the state of mobile gaming and gaming in general today, we have to include streaming services like Stadia and xCloud. They may suffer from “childhood diseases” in their current state but many tech experts believe that streaming is the future of gaming. Apple might’ve thought of it too, as the company has issued revised App Store guidelines that allow game streaming services such as Google Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud, and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now to run on iOS devices. There is a catch, though, and it’s a big one. “Games offered in a streaming game service subscription must be downloaded directly from the App Store, must be designed to avoid duplicate payment by a subscriber, and should not disadvantage non-subscriber customers,” reads the update. Having to download a game to play it on a streaming platform kinda defeats the purpose.
The caveat might have something to do with Apple’s own gaming service Apple Arcade. Players need to download the games they want to play with that too, and it seems that Apple doesn’t want to be put at a disadvantage, offering download-free gaming experience from third parties. Still, at least there’s a legitimate way to play Stadia games on your iOS devices now. Meanwhile, Apple and Epic are still fighting each other, after the game studio dared to challenge the 30% cut that Apple takes on in-app payments.