Update (Fri 7th Aug, 2020 10:00 BST): Microsoft has hit back at Apple's explanation for Project xCloud's iOS absence, issuing a strongly worded statement criticising the company for being "the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass."
Here's the full statement below, as shared by Windows Central:
"Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content."
"All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the heart of the gaming experience and gamers tell us they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree."
Original story (Thu 6th Aug, 2020 23:00 BST): It was announced recently that Microsoft was ending Project xCloud preview testing on Apple devices earlier than expected, and now Apple has elaborated on why the game streaming service isn't coming to iOS yet.
In a statement to Business Insider, the company highlighted that "all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers." Part of this involves submitting each individual game to Apple's review process, and because Microsoft isn't doing that with its 100+ Xbox Game Pass games available through Project xCloud, the app reportedly isn't being allowed to publish.
Here's what an Apple spokesperson had to say about it:
"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search..."
"In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store."
As we mentioned earlier today, the Project xCloud preview on iOS has been restricted to just Halo: The Master Chief Collection and a limited number of participants so far due to App Store policies, but Microsoft still says it's aiming to ultimately "scale cloud gaming through Xbox Game Pass available on all devices."
What are your thoughts on these comments from Apple? Let us know in the comments below.