Microsoft Not Planning on Xbox Cloud Gaming App for iOS Because There's 'Not Room' for Monetization

Microsoft does not plan to bring an Xbox Cloud Gaming app to iOS at this time because there's no opportunity for monetization, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said in an interview with The Verge. When asked whether Apple's recent app ecosystem changes in the European Union make "room" for Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS, Spencer said that monetization was an issue, and that the Digital Markets Act forcing Apple's updates does not "go far enough to open up competition."

App Store and XCloud

There's not room for us to monetize Xbox Cloud Gaming on iOS. I think the proposal that Apple put forward -- and I thought Sarah Bond's comments on this were right on -- doesn't go far enough to open up. In fact, you might even say they go the opposite direction in some way, but they definitely don't go far enough to open up competition on the world's largest gaming platform.

We will continue to work with regulators, and Apple and Google, to create a space for alternative storefronts. I'm a big fan of how Windows works, and you've got a Microsoft Store on Windows, you've got Steam, you've got the Epic Games Store, you've got GOG. You have alternatives, and I think alternative ways for people to buy things creates goodness for consumers and creators. I think the largest platform for gamers, which is mobile, should have the same.

Spencer said that earlier comments from Xbox President Sarah Bond were "right on." Back in January, Bond said that Apple's policy is a "step in the wrong direction." According to Spencer, Microsoft plans to continue to work with regulators to "create a space for alternative storefronts."

In the European Union, the Digital Markets Act requires Apple to allow for alternative app marketplaces and alternative payment methods, but Apple is requiring developers who opt to use an alternative app marketplace to agree to new business terms that include a Core Development Fee of .50 euros per user. Companies like Spotify and Epic Games have criticized Apple's implementation of the DMA's requirements. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said that Apple's plan is a "complete and total farce," while Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said Apple's implementation is a "devious new instance of malicious compliance."

Alongside the changes in the European Union under the DMA, Apple also changed its App Store policies around cloud gaming apps. Apple now allows streaming game apps on the ‌App Store‌ worldwide, with the apps able to offer a selection of games from within a single app. Previously, cloud gaming services were only available via a web interface.

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Top Rated Comments

ps3zocker Avatar
22 weeks ago
What? They literally can monetize it because you have to subscribe to Xbox Cloud gaming to use it and they can offer the app for free without paying any fees.
What else do they want?
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hieranonymous Avatar
22 weeks ago
He’s a big fan of how Windows works … except that’s not even how Xbox works. Game consoles are arguably even more locked down than iPhones. This feels like misdirection.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0339327 Avatar
22 weeks ago
I'm not all against Apple on this one, but Microsoft's response is EXACTLY how you get change. If people stop developing for iOS due to the costs involved, that will certainly get Apple's attention.

If you don't like the iPhone store... don't develop for it.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
22 weeks ago
Maybe they would have had more "room" if they'd succeeded with the Windows phone.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paulovsouza Avatar
22 weeks ago
It’s funny how these monopolies crying about how closed off Apple is, and how they want to keep all their money to themselves. Didn’t Microsoft buy 2 of the biggest gaming studio? Don’t they have sole control of their property and how to distribute, charge, and policies they implement for those services (like their cloud gaming). They poked the bear, and thought it would hand them all of its honey.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
22 weeks ago

What? They literally can monetize it because you have to subscribe to Xbox Cloud gaming to use it and they can offer the app for free without paying any fees.
What else do they want?
Because they have to pay royalties to Apple in a sense (the Core Technology Fee) even through a Marketplace.|

Not a fan of Microsoft or their CEO, but they're right.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)