29 June 2020

The New York Times: “Apple rejects Facebook’s Gaming App, for at least the Fifth Time”

Since February, Apple has rejected at least five versions of Facebook Gaming, according to three people with knowledge of the companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. Each time, the people said, Apple cited its rules that prohibit apps with the “main purpose” of distributing casual games.

Facebook Gaming may also have been hurt by appearing to compete with Apple’s own sales of games, two of the people said. Games are by far the most lucrative category of mobile apps worldwide. Apple’s App Store, the only officially approved place for iPhone and iPad users to find new games and other programs, generated about $15 billion in revenue last year.

Seth Schiesel

Alternative headline: “Apple rejects Another Rival Gaming Service to Prevent it from Competing on iOS”. As reported in March, new game streaming subscriptions from Microsoft, Google and Nvidia have also been severely limited by Apple’s rules, while its own Apple Arcade is allegedly compliant. Yet another example of companies defining the rules of access to their platforms so that competitors can never challenge their dominance.

Since then, Facebook has been weighing its next move. The company is considering releasing Facebook Gaming on Apple devices without playable games at all, the people with knowledge of the social network said. Another option, they said, is continuing to make playable games even more difficult for users to find within the app.

Another problem with Apple’s convoluted restrictions in the App Store: they end up confusing users and hurting experience – similar to the recent case involving the email app Hey.

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