What you need to know
- Apple has updated its developer guidelines to include game streaming apps.
- They're now allowed, but each game they stream must be submitted for review.
- IAP won't be required for specific types of purchases, too.
Apple today updated its App Store Review Guidelines to take into account a few issues that have come up in recent weeks and months. The main one that will catch everyone's eye is the fact developers can now get game streaming apps into the App Store. But there's a caveat.
Apple says that any streaming app can be submitted to the App Store but that every game that it streams will also need to be submitted for review. It also means that each game will appear in things like App Store search results and charts. It'll also require that all games integrate with system-level features, perhaps including Game Center.
Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store.
If all of this sounds familiar, it's because it's similar to the method that GameClub uses with its own game subscription service. Nothing is streamed, but GameClub users get their games outside of the main GameClub app. Streaming games will apparently be no different.
There are more changes, too. Apple will now allow person-to-person in-app purchases to take place outside of the App Store's in-app purchase system. That could include things like fitness training, for example. If it happens in real-time, this rule change would likely apply.
Moving on, Apple also updated its guidelines to take into account new iOS 14 features, including App Clips. Apple says that they must be included in the main app library and that they cannot contain any form of advertising.
Developers looking for the full rundown of changes can head to the App Store Review Guidelines on Apple's developer portal.
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