Microsoft told Apple it was willing to turn the big Xbox exclusives into iPhone and iPad games before negotiations over bringing the Xbox Cloud Gaming service to the App Store failed earlier this year, internal emails show.
Microsoft has also been open to releasing individual apps for each of the titles available in its streaming catalog to comply with App Store policies. That changed when it became apparent that calming Apple down was simply too difficult.
Microsoft has tried to meet Apple’s requirements for streaming games
In an ideal world, Xbox players with an iPhone or iPad could download a native app that gives access to the entire Xbox Cloud Gaming catalog – just as they can on Android. That was Microsoft’s original plan.
The company was ready to jump through a number of hoops to make it happen, according to e-mails from the Epic Games trial of Apple revealed The Verge. But it seems Apple wouldn’t play the ball.
Not only has Microsoft been open to releasing individual apps for hundreds of titles available through Xbox Cloud Gaming, but it has also proposed bringing in big Xbox exclusives – like Hello – in the App Store as standalone titles.
In return, all Microsoft asked for was to release a single app that contained all the streaming technology needed to support each title and the ability to manage its own purchases within the app. He was still planning to pay Apple his share.
Apple has blocked Microsoft’s proposal
Microsoft told Apple that incorporating its streaming technology into a single application, which will feed its individual games, would make things easier not only for Microsoft, but also for iPhone and iPad users. This would also reduce the download size.
Instead of having about 150 MB each, and requiring an update every time Microsoft improves its streaming infrastructure, each game would only have 30 MB and would never need an update.
“Forcing every game to incorporate our streaming technology has proved unrealistic from a support and engineering perspective and would create an incredibly negative customer experience,” Microsoft explained to The Verge.
What about in-app purchases?
Microsoft also hoped that Apple would allow it to manage its own in-app purchases (IAP), as it would not be feasible to incorporate purchases from the App Store into games broadcast from actual Xbox hardware.
But even though Microsoft agreed to pay Apple its reduction for those purchases, Apple still refused to allow it. Microsoft denies that IAPs played a role in the final decisions, but in the end, respecting Apple was simply too difficult.
Instead, Microsoft has built Xbox Cloud Gaming into a web app that iPhone and iPad users can enjoy through Safari. It’s not exactly the best experience, but it works – and it’s better than nothing.
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