UK could force Apple to allow Xbox and other cloud games on the App Store
Apple has made it difficult for cloud gaming services to reside on the App Store and now the UK government wants to know why and if it’s correct.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) plans to investigate how Apple prevented products like Xbox Game Pass from reaching the App Store.
Microsoft has gotten around this problem by hosting its gaming service in the cloud through the web browser, but this is not an ideal situation for users.
It’s also not good for Microsoft, which Apple said every game in the library would have to be submitted for independent review to bring Game Pass to the App Store. Companies like Meta and Amazon have also faced the same restrictions for their own cloud gaming services.
In a press release issued today, the CMA said it has heard complaints from stakeholders in the cloud gaming industry and plans to investigate the need for legally binding changes.
The CMA wrote: “Apple has also blocked cloud gaming services from appearing on its App Store. Like web applications, cloud gaming services are an innovation in the making, providing mobile access to high-quality games that can be streamed rather than downloaded individually. Gaming apps are a key source of revenue for Apple, and cloud gaming could pose a real threat to Apple’s strong position in app distribution. By preventing this sector from developing, Apple risks depriving mobile users of all the benefits of cloud gaming.
“During its market investigation, the CMA heard concerns from a number of UK companies and startups who said restrictions on mobile browsers and cloud gaming made it difficult for them to innovate and be competitive in these markets.
“The proposed market investigation will further assess the competition concerns identified to date in both areas and decide, if necessary, on appropriate action. This could include the issuance of legally binding orders requiring changes to Apple’s and Google’s practices.
Today’s launch follows a year-long study of the Apple and Google mobile ecosystem and the potential damage this ‘duopoly’ is causing to competition in the UK. She believes that the interventions may be necessary to prevent the two companies from tightening control.
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