The Model is Being Pushed to Its Limits

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

The Verge has some new reporting that includes emails between Microsoft and Apple, negotiating what could be done to bring Xbox games to iPhones and iPads. This bit stuck out to me:

“Our proposal for bringing games through individual apps was designed to comply with App Store policies. It was denied by Apple based on our request that there be a single streaming tech app to support the individual game apps, as the initial email states. Forcing each game to include our streaming tech stack proved to be unrealistic from a support and engineering perspective and would create an incredibly negative experience for customers,” reads a statement from Xbox Cloud Gaming CVP Kareem Choudhry to The Verge.

Setting aside the App Store rules, I'm curious how this would have worked if Microsoft was able to do what they said in the above quote. I read this as the base Game Pass streaming code would live in a single app on your iPad/iPhone, and then would would download each "game" from the App Store separately. But how would the game apps utilize the steaming tech from the other app? Am I reading this wrong?

It's worth noting that the streaming tech probably is a pain to include in each individual app, and it would be a major pain to have to update all 100+ apps in the App Store every time you wanted to update that code (which I assume would be pretty regularly since it's the core experience).

Anyway, I have questions how this would have worked, but no matter the answers, I think that this is another example of the App Store model where everything is a siloed app, is showing constrictions that are incompatible with some more bleeding edge software. Apple adapted the App Store to work as SAAS took over paid-up-front priciung models, and I hope they can evolve it again to better-accomadate app paradigms that customers want, but don't fit nicely into the "every app is a silo" model.