Starting today Apple is opening up its App Store to allow game streaming apps and services. This means that services like Xbox Cloud Streaming and GeForce Now, which previously were only accessible on iOS via a web browser, will be able to offer full-featured apps. “Developers can now submit a single app with the capability to stream all of the games offered in their catalog,” Apple wrote in a blog post. These changes apply “worldwide,” according to the company.
In 2020, Apple appeared to have carved out a space for these cloud gaming services in the App Store. But that turned out not to be the case, as all games available through each service had to be submitted and reviewed as a standalone app. So the shift to allow one app with a large catalog of games marks a major change. As part of today’s announcement, Apple said that “each experience made available in an app on the App Store will be required to adhere to all App Store Review Guidelines and its host app will need to maintain an age rating of the highest age-rated content included in the app.”
Apple also says that developers will now “be able to provide enhanced discovery opportunities for streaming games, mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins that are found within their apps,” and that “mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins will be able to incorporate Apple’s In-App Purchase system to offer their users paid digital content or services for the first time, such as a subscription for an individual chatbot.”
The news is part of a series of shifts coming to open up the App Store following a European Commission antitrust investigation. Other changes announced today include allowing alternative app stores and browser engines in the EU.