Apple is revising its policy for streaming game services and apps that provide access to mini apps and games.
The company said it is introducing new options for how apps globally can deliver in-app experiences to users, including streaming games and mini-programs. Developers can now submit a single app with the capability to stream all of the games offered in their catalog.
Apple didn’t say so, but the move represents a loosening of its rules in the midst of a tightening environment around antitrust regulation for tech giants around the globe. This issue came up in the Apple vs. Epic antitrust trial as one of the things wrong with Apple’s app store controls.
Europe is instituting more strict app store rules for “gatekeeper” platforms, and the U.S. Supreme Court denied appeals from both Apple and Epic in their dispute, leaving intact one victory for Epic that required Apple to allow game companies to advertise their alternative app stores within their own Apple apps.
Apple said apps will also be able to provide enhanced discovery opportunities for streaming games, mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins that are found within their apps.
Additionally, mini-apps, mini-games, chatbots, and plug-ins will be able to incorporate Apple’s in-app purchase system to offer their users paid digital content or services for the first time, such as a subscription for an individual chatbot.
Each experience made available in an app on the app store will be required to adhere to all App Store Review Guidelines and its host app will need to maintain an age rating of the highest age-rated content included in the app, Apple said.
“The changes Apple is announcing reflect feedback from Apple’s developer community and is consistent with the App Store’s mission to provide a trusted place for users to find apps they love and developers everywhere with new capabilities to grow their businesses,” Apple said. “Apps that host this content are responsible for ensuring all the software included in their app meets Apple’s high standards for user experience and safety.”
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