Microsoft Reportedly Tried to Bring Xbox-Only Games to App Store

BY Anu Joy

Published 10 Dec 2021

Private emails unearthed by The Verge reveal that Microsoft was willing to give in to Apple’s many demands to bring its games to the App Store. This would have included its triple-A Xbox-exclusive games.

The thread of emails reveals that Lori Wright, the Xbox head of business development, suggested that Apple should allow Microsoft to put individual game apps on the App Store as separate shortcuts. To persuade Apple to give in to the suggestions, Wright tried to sweeten the deal by reportedly offering Xbox-exclusive games for iPhone and iPad users. She is said to have written in the email, “this would be an incredibly exciting opportunity for iOS users to get access to these exclusive AAA titles in addition to the Game Pass games.”

App shortcuts would mean that each game would have its own App Store page, but would redirect the user to the Xbox Game Pass app. This would “rob” Apple of its commission, so it comes as no surprise that Apple rejected the proposal.

Adam Dema, Apple spokesperson said:

“Unfortunately, Microsoft proposed a version of xCloud that was not compliant with our App Store Review Guidelines, specifically the requirement to use in-app purchase to unlock additional features or functionality within an app.”

Strangely, Xbox Cloud Gaming CVP Kareem Choudhry begged to differ. Here’s his statement on the matter:

“The reasons for rejection were unrelated to in-app purchase capabilities; we currently provide Xbox Cloud Gaming through a singular Xbox Game Pass app in the Google Play Store without IAP enabled, for example, and we would do the same through the App Store if allowed.”

Eventually, Microsoft shifted its focus and has been offering Xbox Cloud Gaming to iOS users through web browsers. Choudhry said that it “will continue to look for viable resolutions” that would allow its games into the App Store.

[Via The Verge]