Xcloud IpadSource: Dan Thorp-Lancaster/iMore

What you need to know

  • Phil Schiller testified in the Epic v. Apple trial today.
  • The executive answered questions about why the App Store does not allow gaming services like xCloud.

Apple Fellow Phil Schiller took the stand at the Epic v. Apple trial today, and the executive defended how the company handles game services on the App Store.

As reported by CNET, many have criticized Apple for how it does not allow gaming services like Microsoft's xCloud through the App Store. At today's hearing, Schiller, who currently heads the App Store, says that the reason is quite simple.

Apple requires game streaming services to submit individual apps to its App Store for review, even if they're part of a streaming catalog of hundreds of titles. The reason, he said, is that when people look for a game in the App Store, Apple wants to provide an age rating and parental controls, a product page, and privacy policies to users in the same way it does for other apps on its store, regardless of how it's delivered.

"As a store we want to provide that information to our users," he said. Microsoft vociferously disagreed in the past, saying it creates a bad experience for users searching through its catalog of games. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Schiller's latest statements.

When judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers asked why gaming was treated differently than movie apps like Netflix, Schiller had an answer for that as well.

Schiller said that in addition to the reasons he described above, Netflix has one account and privacy policy. People don't sign in to individual movies to watch in the same way they might sign into the latest Assassin's Creed historic fiction adventure game from Ubisoft to keep track of their progress and connect with friends. "These are interactive games," Schiller said. "It's something that requires you they do much more than just play video."

"The App Store is not a movie store," he added. "It isn't about movies. It's an apps and games store. And so when you bring in games in a different way, that no longer works as designed in the game store."

While many will still disagree, it is finally good to hear it directly from an Apple executive why they take a particular stance when they come to the App Store.