In 2020, Microsoft is working hard to bring xCloud or Xbox Game Streaming to the iPhone and iPad, and the victim of the conversation is unlikely: Shadow, a third-party cloud gaming app that allows you to stream PC games to the iPhone or iPad.
The email between Microsoft and Apple is on Epic v today. Apple’s test revealed how the Xbox maker tried to get xCloud on iOS. Microsoft tried to find out how Shadow, Netflix, and other similar “interactive” applications existed on the App Store, and Apple refused to approve xCloud. Microsoft proposed Shadow as an example of this service, only to see it suddenly removed from the store.
Lori Wright, Microsoft’s head of Xbox business development at Epic v. Apple’s test said, “We show two examples of games or applications that may exist, but we don’t understand why they can’t.” “I think [Apple] eventually pulled Shadow from the App Store based on the email we sent until they submitted the changes. Of course, this was not our intention, but a by-product.”
Although the removal of Shadow is not permanent, Apple temporarily removed it from the App Store twice in the past year. Shadow was first removed in February of last year and Apple reportedly cited “failing to act in accordance with specific sections of Apple’s App Store guidelines.” Apple again removed Shadow from the app store in February, and the app came back a week later.
Shadow revealed that the app was removed a second time due to a misunderstanding of the nature of the app. “Unlike game streaming services, Shadow provides a complete Windows 10 PC rather than a library of games,” explained Luc Hancock, Shadow Community Manager. “This unique method allows Shadow to meet App Store guidelines, so you can access Shadow PC on any iOS device to run your favorite games and software.”
Valve struggled for over a year before launching its Steam Link game streaming service on iOS. Apple rejected the app, probably because it allowed iOS users to access Steam, another app store within Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem. Apple revised its rules after rejecting the Steam link, and the app was finally approved in May 2019 two years ago.
After these conversations, Apple continued to make it difficult for services like xCloud and Stadia to run on iOS devices like Microsoft and Google, which only caused the App Store policy to slowly stand out, causing the service to run under strict restrictions. Apple now insists that developers use its streaming technology to ship games as separate apps and then bundle them into “catalog”-style apps.
Microsoft was not impressed by Apple’s approach, calling it a “bad customer experience.” This open dispute has now turned into a court battle between Epic Games and Apple. Epic’s attorneys asked representatives for Microsoft and Nvidia about efforts to introduce cloud gaming apps for iOS. And start your cloud gaming service via Safari web browser.