Apple today announced a variety of updates to their App Store Review Guidelines that relate to in-app purchases, streaming game services, and personal lending applications.
Apple says the goal of the new 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 guidelines are to add additional transparency around the types of applications required to use Apple’s in-app purchase system. There is a specific clarification related to person-to-person experiences, something that has come under scrutiny as businesses shift to virtual classes and experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple’s new guidelines focus heavily on streaming game services and formalize the expectations for these services, should they choose to be available on iPhone and iPad. This should apply to services such as Microsoft’s Xbox streaming game platform and Google Stadia, though Apple is not specifically addressing any specific services with these guidelines.
Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store. – [Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines]
Apple explains that each streaming game must be submitted to the App Store as an individual application, such that it has an App Store product page, appears in charts and search, and integrates with other iOS features and experiences. Companies can, however, offer a catalog application that includes links to the App Store versions of all of the games available through their service.
MacDailyNews Take: These changes now allow for streaming game services (as long as each game within is submitted for review, has a product page, etc.) while still protecting users. It’s a win-win!