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Former App Store Boss Claims Apple Arcade Violates Policy

The former director of Apple’s App Store, Phil Shoemaker, claims Apple Arcade violates the same policies barring Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Google’s Stadia from iOS.

Reported by Business Insider, Shoemaker informed a House antitrust subcommittee that apps which compete with Apple’s services have “a track record of problems getting through the App Store’s review process.”

“Apple’s gaming service, Apple Arcade, is a type of app that was ‘consistently disallowed from the store,’ when offered by third-party developers, but Apple allowed its own app in the store ‘even though it violates existing [App Store] guidelines,” recounts Shoemaker within the House antitrust report.

Apple Arcade is a paid subscription service offering a library of games for users to play across Macs, iPads and iPhones.

Microsoft has continued to pursue its multi-screen gameplay initiative, however, has Xbox Game Pass is not available on Apple’s device ecosystem due to App Store constraints.

As previously reported, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has pledged to bring the service to iOS in the future, despite the hurdles.

Xbox Game Pass operates in a similar fashion to Netflix or Spotify, with subscribers gaining access to a library of gaming entertainment options.

Apple has continued to maintain that apps for such services are not allowed because the company is unable to review each game within such libraries.

Some market commentators allege Apple’s App Store guidelines enforce anti-competitive behaviour, and encourage preference for its own ecosystem of services.

Shoemakers sentiments were published as part of an antitrust report by the House antitrust subcommittee this week, focused on the behaviour of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. All four big tech companies have publicly rebuked the report.

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