The world of video games is inevitably evolving towards cloud platforms, that is, the game runs on a server and you access it online. In this way, it is no longer necessary to have a device such as a console or computer, you can play from anywhere there is internet. Microsoft with iCloud and Google with Stadia are the main godfathers of this new generation of games, however they have encountered a huge obstacle that prevents them from reaching millions of users: strict App Store rules.

In a statement to Business Insider, Apple reported that these types of cloud services violate the rules of the App Store and they cannot exist in iOS, at least as they are developed now. The main reason why xCloud or Stadia cannot launch their apps on iOS is that they offer access to applications that Apple cannot review individually, specifically games.

“The App Store was created to be a safe and reliable place for customers to discover and download applications, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they enter our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that aim to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field for developers.

Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and game services can absolutely be released 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 appear in charts and searches. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users via the web via Safari and other browsers in the App Store.

Basically Apple does not allow running games on iOS that have not been previously reviewed. And since these services only offer access to dozens of games that do not run directly on iPhones or iPads, it is impossible that xCloud or Stadia will reach Apple systems anytime soon. Apple proposes a web solution to enter from Safari, but it does not seem easy.

Microsoft disagrees, and Google probably doesn’t either

Microsoft is not at all convinced of these Apple practices and in a new statement to The Verge it showed its disagreement, assuring that could not find a solution to bring xCloud to iOS via the App Store. The company claimed that Apple “is alone” by denying consumers the benefits of cloud games. Still, they say they plan to continue looking for a way to bring cloud games to iOS devices.

Our trial period for the Project xCloud iOS pre-app has expired. Unfortunately, we don’t have a path to bring our vision for cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store. Apple is the only general platform that denies consumers gaming subscription services and cloud games 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 rating bodies such as the ESRB and its regional equivalents. We are committed to finding a way to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform. We believe that the customer should be at the center of the gaming experience and players tell us that they want to play, connect and share anywhere, no matter where they are. We agree”.

The App Store rules are pretty clear about it And, for now, they do not allow applications such as xCloud or Stadia to run on iOS. Others such as PS4 Remote Play do allow a similar system, but because the platform to which they connect is the property of the user, this rule is reflected in section a) of section 4.2.7:

“The application should only be connected to a user-owned host device that is a user-owned personal computer or dedicated game console, and both the host device and the client should be connected on a local, LAN-based network.”

Not seem an easy-to-fix issue if Apple doesn’t give in a bitThese types of platforms are going to start to become popular, and they are not a direct rival to those that the company has, Apple Arcade starts from a completely different place. We will see if in the end they reach an agreement since iOS users are missing all the benefits of the game in the cloud.