Microsoft has tried to convince Apple that it will be great for users to get some AAA games from Xbox on iOS, according to new private emails. However, negotiations about bringing xCloud to the App Store didn’t end well due to some financial and engineering disagreements.

The Verge unveiled new information on December 9, citing private emails related to the Epic Games and Apple trial.

  • The negotiation process started last year, and Microsoft didn’t like Apple’s requirement to release every single game as a standalone app.
  • Xbox head of business development Lori Wright noted in one of the emails that it will be hard to create hundreds to thousands of apps, as it would have been a real headache to update any of them.
  • In March 2020, Microsoft proposed another solution. The company could create standalone apps as shortcuts, which would redirect users to a single cloud app. So it won’t have to stuff the whole cloud gaming streaming stack into each one of them.
  • “If we have a single streaming tech app, it will be around 150 MB, but the other apps will only be roughly 30 MB and will not need to be updated when the streaming tech is updated,” wrote. “This will be a better experience for users.”
  • On top of that, Microsoft was ready to bring some of its AAA titles to the App Store. It would let users buy and play exclusive games like Halo Infinite without having to buy the Game Pass subscription.
  • The negotiations took a long time but ended up to no avail. As a result, Microsoft had to release its Xbox Cloud Gaming (f.k.a. xCloud) outside the App Store as PWA.
  • According to the company, Apple was the one that rejected all proposals. It insisted that every single app should have a full stack of cloud gaming technologies.
  • “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,” Xbox Cloud Gaming CVP Kareem Choudhry told The Verge.
  • Microsoft’s refusal of using the App Store payment system was another stumbling block. Apple demanded all in-app transactions to go through its own store, so it would receive a commission from each purchase.
  • Microsoft didn’t like this idea because it had already released the Game Pass on Google Play without having to enable IAP.

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