CARY – Apple is revising its guidelines for streaming game services’ access to its App Store, but here’s no change in its ban on Epic Games and Fortnite – a move that has led to lawsuits between the former close technology partners.

The new rules disclosed by Apple on Friday would allow access by Microsoft’s xCloud and Google Stadia, for example, even though Microsoft has spoken out against Apple’s ban of Epic.

Epic was banned for offering a way to bypass in-app store purchases and the 30% fee charged by Apple. Apple has said if Epic drops the direct pay option to avoid the Apple fee the ban would be rescinded.

“[A]ll of the games included in a streaming game subscription service need to be downloaded directly from the App Store,” MacRumors notes.

But a MacRumors reader questioned Apple’s decision:

“This doesn’t really make sense, and it sounds like they want to appear like they’re working with companies when they really aren’t. With this rule, Microsoft basically has to make a version of their XCloud app that can only stream one game, and then they’ll have to duplicate 100+ times for every other game. That’s dumb. Can you imagine if Netflix had to create a different app for every show or movie?”

Apple won’t block Fortnite gamers from ‘Sign in with Apple’ after all

Here’s what Apple said about games in its guidelines:

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.
After You Submit: If you still disagree with the outcome, or would like to suggest a change to the guideline itself, please submit an appeal.

CNBC points out why the Apple rules are important:

“Apple’s employees use these guidelines to approve or deny apps and updates on the App Store. Those rules have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks from app makers who argue iPhone maker has too much control over what software runs on iPhones and how Apple takes a cut of payments from those apps.”

For more details from CNBC, check this link:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/11/apple-app-store-new-rules-will-affect-google-stadia-microsoft-xcloud.html

Here’s more from MacRumors:

https://www.macrumors.com/2020/09/11/apple-updates-app-store-review-guidelines/

Read all the rule changes at this site:

https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=xqk627qu