The ban on cloud gaming services on the App Store and the WebKit browser engine restrictions have both been ruled out as anti-competitive by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the United Kingdom. When it comes to technology giants, Apple is no less than a goliath having a great market share in the market.
From the scratch, Apple has made a name for itself, risen through the ranks, and nested its stronghold in today’s list of top technology companies. The company has been no stranger to conflicts with developers. It expects them to work by the boundaries set by Apple itself.
The Epic Games and Apple lawsuit would fit in here, for example. Epic Games tried to bypass Apple’s payment method to take all the revenue for itself, violating the terms, and, therefore, Fortnite was let go off the App Store. Similarly, for cloud gaming services, they are banned; perhaps an attempt by Apple to promote its very own Apple Arcade.
For those that are unaware, Apple has been very possessive of its terms and conditions. A perfect example to explain would be the WebKit browser engine. To make sure that Apple is the king in its own ring, the giant has formulated WebKit, a rendering engine by which browser developers are bound.
WebKit makes the possibility of surpassing Safari, in terms of performance, out of question. That being said, there’s no other way out of the box for browser developers, at least on the App Store. That brings us to the connection between cloud gaming and browsers.
As previously mentioned, the ban on cloud gaming services is imminent for the years to come. Hence, cloud gaming services, like NVIDIA GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming, came up and brought their services to browsers.
Although this was a win for the players with Apple devices, the company’s WebKit browser engine has been limiting the peak performance of cloud gaming, diminishing the main aim of the services. Other than concluding with that decision after an investigation into many anti-trust complaints against Apple, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also elaborated on the situation.
Apple has blocked the emergence of cloud gaming services on its App Store. Like web apps, cloud gaming services are a developing innovation, providing mobile access to high-quality games that can be streamed rather than individually downloaded.
Gaming apps are a key source of revenue for Apple and cloud gaming could pose a real threat to Apple’s strong position in app distribution.
By preventing this sector from growing, Apple risks causing mobile users to miss out on the full benefits of cloud gaming.
An investigation of the App Store is also underway by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in regards to the terms and conditions ordained to developers. “Separately, the CMA has an existing competition law investigation underway in relation to Apple’s App Store terms and conditions, which it opened in March 2021,” says the report. As for now, nothing from that has been brought to light yet.