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News Facebook iOS gaming app launches with no games; condemns Apple policy

Soulsborne

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Facebook iOS gaming app launches with no games; condemns Apple policy
Ben Lovejoy
A Facebook iOS gaming app has been forced to launch without access to any games, thanks to an App Store policy which bans streaming gaming services.

Facebook Gaming on Android allows users to play games, as well as watch the gameplay of popular streamers – but iOS users cannot play games …



Facebook told The Verge that earlier versions of the apps which allowed gameplay were rejected ‘multiple times’ by Apple, and the app was only approved when all games were removed.

“Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app — meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer in a press statement given to The Verge. “We’re staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month — whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not.”
Facebook says it has had the Facebook Gaming app rejected multiple times by Apple in recent months. The company says Apple has cited App Store guideline 4.7 to justify the rejections, claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. Facebook says it shared usage data from its Android Facebook Gaming app that showed 95 percent of activity is watching streams, but this didn’t change Apple’s stance.
Apple yesterday confirmed that it won’t allow any games’ streaming service on its platform, other than its own Apple Arcade platform.

The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps, and a great business opportunity for all developers. Before they go on our store, all apps are reviewed against the same set of guidelines that are intended to protect customers and provide a fair and level playing field to developers.
Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch 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 appearing in charts and search. In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store.
An EU law recently forced Apple to offer developers the ability to challenge its review guidelines. Facebook said it tried this, but Apple rejected its appeal.

Facebook says that other forms of Facebook iOS gaming have also been hit, and Apple’s stance hurts players and developers alike.

“Even on the main Facebook app and Messenger, we’ve been forced to bury Instant Games for years on iOS,” explains Facebook Gaming chief Vivek Sharma in a statement to The Verge. “This is shared pain across the games industry, which ultimately hurts players and devs and severely hamstrings innovation on mobile for other types of formats, like cloud gaming.”
As The Verge’s Tom Warren observes, Apple’s stance here seems inconsistent.

Apple’s argument is that the company can’t individually review games offered on streaming services, but the company doesn’t seem to have the same issues with services like Netflix or YouTube that stream millions of videos, TV shows, and movies to Apple’s iOS devices that Apple can’t possibly review.
Facebook Gaming is a free download from the App Store.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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Shit, I am long on Apple but they are about to get screwed in an antitrust case. Cloud app service provides are a fundamental treat to their ecosystem, so Apple is going to try to stop them at any cost and it will only get uglier.
Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, understood early on that they don’t need to own the client hardware device if their cloud app services have no lag, so they are working hard on solving that problem; they’ll just keep going forward.

Interesting times ahead.

Just remember, this isn’t anti consumer because Apple are just looking out for their business

/s
It is anti consumer. I am a fan of the company, but they are in check mate here.
 
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PSYGN

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Apple's pissing off everyone lately. Spotify with music. Netflix and subscription fee. Microsoft and their game streaming service. Browsers and forcing them to use Safari's browser engine under the hood. App devs as Safari doesn't adopt web APIs to allow web apps more native functionality.
 

Panajev2001a

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App devs as Safari doesn't adopt web APIs to allow web apps more native functionality.
Agree with what you said before but not with this... app devs have proper tools and SDK’s to do their job with. What you are suggesting leads to filling iOS with poorer cheaper web apps like all the RAM and CPU abusing Electron based apps that are infecting Desktop PC’s...
 
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godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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Apple's pissing off everyone lately. Spotify with music. Netflix and subscription fee. Microsoft and their game streaming service. Browsers and forcing them to use Safari's browser engine under the hood. App devs as Safari doesn't adopt web APIs to allow web apps more native functionality.
Correct, it is Apple vs the rest of tech giants at this point. However, Apple is also the only company that has a complete vertical integration and a quality offering at each stage. If any company can compete against the rest, it is them.
 
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Ar¢tos

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I was being sarcastic. We have 2 or 3 topics on here with armies of people saying Sony paying for Multiplatform games to not appear on Xbox isn’t anti consumer.
You mean MS? They are the ones that paid to keep Tomb Raider away from Playstation.
Sony fully funded Bloodborne and co-funded SF5, it's different than paying to keep the game away for 1 year from another platform.
 
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MrFunSocks

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You mean MS? They are the ones that paid to keep Tomb Raider away from Playstation.
Sony fully funded Bloodborne and co-funded SF5, it's different than paying to keep the game away for 1 year from another platform.
No, I mean Sony. Tomb Raider was anti consumer, and so is all this Sony avengers crap and also the rumours of them paying for a lot more previously multiplatform games to go exclusive.
 

nowhat

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America. I'm not really arsed as it's facebook but from someone who works with apple dev accounts in work, I find the ecosystem awful to work with.
The approval process for the App Store can be so opaque it's really infuriating. Thank $DEITY most of our clients nowadays see the benefit of creating mobile-friendly web apps instead of native apps.
 
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What in the hell is vertical integration?
Basically, it is the ability to be self sufficent and not relying on other companies for part of your supply chain. As in Apple can piss off almost everyone, but still able to keep functioning. Autarky would be the ultimate dream, but right now Apple can't piss off China so they are not there yet.
.
 
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Once again, all comes down to Apple wanting a 30% cut of everything
Same as what everyone else wants.

You are either the renter, or the landlord; you either pay the rent or get paid rent. If you don't like it, go on PC and compete with everyone else with your own launcher.

The Walled Garden is the entire business model. Hardware profits is nearly nothing, the 30% rent of software is the reason the walled garden even exists.

I was amazed recently when an Xbox fan was outraged, when I told him Gamepass would need to pay 30% revenue on rival platforms. He thought that Xbox could magically demand a better deal somehow.

By the way, the only reason PC is still open is because Gabe threatened MS with Steam Machines. Gabe doesn't need to actually build an alternative to Windows; he just need to threaten to. And that got Microsoft to back off.
 

RoadHazard

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No, I mean Sony. Tomb Raider was anti consumer, and so is all this Sony avengers crap and also the rumours of them paying for a lot more previously multiplatform games to go exclusive.
Sony has the rights to the Spider-Man gaming (and movie) license. Why should they not take advantage of that? Why would they just give that away? This isn't a case where they're paying SE to NOT have Spidey on other platforms, it's simply their license. Is it also anti-consumer that they don't release the PS4 Spidey game on Xbox? Is it anti-consumer that MS doesn't release Halo on PlayStation?

If this was something like Sony paying to arbitrarily have Iron Man removed from all other versions I'd agree with you, but Spider-Man isn't the same. It's a PlayStation franchise these days.
 

deriks

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Let's imagine a world when Apple gave the green lit on this thing. Now let's see how much people will care. Oh, just a few... and it's dead. Ok.
 

KungFucius

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By the way, the only reason PC is still open is because Gabe threatened MS with Steam Machines. Gabe doesn't need to actually build an alternative to Windows; he just need to threaten to. And that got Microsoft to back off.
I highly doubt this. Windows is used in businesses everywhere and many big companies use niche software, alot of which is custom developed by them. There is no way MS could manage making Windows a closed garden piece of shit platform. It would piss off every company that uses it. What they are doing instead is moving to cloud based versions where they can charge for everything periodically instead of 1 license per PC ( i.e. 1 license for 3 or more years).

If Apple and their shitty anti consumer, petty greed based model was around in the 80s. The world would look a lot different now. There would be no competition. No room for innovation. Companies would have huge open source servers setup just to run custom applications. Fuck Apple.
 

Jooxed

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Im all about competition for twitch, but i downloaded the facebook gaming app just to take a look, and what a cluster. You can't really look and see whos live streaming games. Theres no good way to search for games or streamers.. It's really bad. Twitch stays at the top for UI design and features.
 

Andodalf

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Does that mean that it's auto clicking ad links in the background?
Iirc, it means whenever they link to an site they have an affiliate code/ link for, it’s automatically made to be a link to their affiliate version of the URL. They have to let people know they do this per FTC guidelines so they put a little notice at the bottom of articles with links I guess.
 
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DanDirtCheap

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Who the fuck still uses Apple anything in 2020?
100s of millions of people.

I’ve had so many phones, from different price points, android, blackberry, even a bloody Windows Phone at one point, and Apple’s devices and software are still the best I’ve used.

I get people shit on them because they’re popular, but their ecosystem is still the best. They won’t care about xCloud or Facebook.
 
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godhandiscen

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What in the hell is vertical integration?
Apple controls every level of the product stack in their ecosystem. They design and build their own hardware, provide the software platform on top of it, and provide the most prominent software services (iTunes, Apple TV, Apple Arcade).
Apple is an example of vertical integration in modern times. This is the common understanding by the term:
 
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