Apple Removed Shadow Game Streaming From App Store To Prove ‘Its Strict Guidelines’

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 5 May 2021

tim cook defends app store monopoly

Apple’s App Store policies have been at the gunpoint for a while. Earlier today, an email revealed how Apple convinced Netflix not to ditch its in-app Payment system. Now, an email from Epic vs Apple trial has revealed why the company kicked Shadow game streaming service out of the App Store all of a sudden — to prove Microsoft its strict App Store guidelines.

Microsoft has been preparing its own game streaming service called xCloud for quite a while now. The company announced its plan of bringing the game streaming service to iPhone and iPad last October. And even though xCloud is now available on iOS and iPadOS, the app still runs through a web browser.

Apple says game streaming services are not allowed on the App Store since ‘Apple can not individually review the games on the platforms.’ And so, to keep the App Store ‘safe,’ Apple decided to do away with the game streaming apps on the iOS and iPadOS altogether.

But this has not been always like this. Shadow is a game streaming service that was available on iOS as an app until it was suddenly kicked out of the App Store — without any warning. It was after Microsoft started testing xCloud as an app on iOS, and Apple came out with the old statement of not being able to control games on the platform.

It was after that moment when Microsoft tried to convince Apple that streaming apps like Netflix and Shadow exist on the App Store, which lets users access their PC game library remotely from any iOS device. Apple then removed Shadow from the App Store to prove Microsoft its strict guidelines.

“Microsoft was trying to figure out how Shadow, Netflix, and other similar “interactive” apps were able to exist in the App Store while Apple was refusing to approve xCloud. Microsoft put forward Shadow as an example of such a service, only to see it suddenly removed from the store.”

Shadow eventually made it to the iOS App Store, after a lot of struggle, only because the service now allows access to a full-fledged Windows PC, rather than being something specific to gaming. xCloud and even Google Stadia then had to be re-built as a web app.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Apple should have a monopoly over iOS app distribution? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via The Verge]