The new rules of the App Store will release Xbox xCloud and other streaming services to the store. In what conditions?

Apple recently announced that there have been several major changes to its App Store location policy. These relate in particular to the conditions for purchases in applications, but also to streaming game services or applications through which virtual instruction takes place. The aim of the rules marked 3.1.2 and 3.1.3 is to clarify the conditions under which payment is required in the application.

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In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rapid increase in interest in applications through which users can learn something new. These are both classic teaching applications and applications with video tutorials and instructions, or applications that are able to interconnect a specific user with a specific lecturer. It was with this type of application that Apple began to differentiate between payment methods. Simply put, it depends on how many people are being trained at one time. In this context, Apple states that in the case of a conversation in which there is an interaction between two individuals (lecturer and user, but also a medical consultation, property inspection or fitness training), the developers of the application may allow other methods of payment than in-app purchases. If one person provides this type of real-time service to multiple users at once, you need to use in-app purchases. The creators of free apps that are associated with a paid web tool – such as email services or web hosting – will not need to make in-app purchases.

The new App Store rules also include changes to gaming streaming applications. These will be allowed in the App Store if their creators follow the relevant regulations. These regulations include, but are not limited to, the requirement that updates to each of the games be submitted for approval first. Developers must also provide Apple with the appropriate search metadata. Games that contain paid content must use an in-app payment system. Apple explains that each of the games in the streaming services needs to be subject to similar processes as if it were a separate application. Developers will also be able to offer users catalogs with links to their games, with each of the games included in the catalog having its own page on the App Store. The future of streaming games in the App Store could theoretically look like a user downloading a "game", logging in with an existing account, and playing the game itself on the developer's servers. Apple has also shed light on applications offering personal loans in the new rules. They must now clearly and comprehensibly provide users with all the necessary information on interest, maturity and other conditions.

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