When Facebook launched the Facebook Gaming App on Android earlier this April, the company had to delay iOS launch due to issues with Apple’s App Store policies. The social media giant finally launched the app on iOS without an in-mini mini-game.
For the undisputed, Facebook Gaming features mini-games from Facebook’s Instant Games platform on Android. While the primary purpose of the app is to post and streaming game videos, Facebook has also made mini-games available on Facebook Gaming. Apple does not allow a streaming app to provide such features.
“Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple’s approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app — meaning iOS users have an inferior experience to those using Android,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told The Verge.
Facebook seems to have tried to convince Apple by sharing usage data from the Facebook gaming app on Android to watch 95 percent of the activity stream, but it has not declined Apple to allow mini-games.
In addition, Facebook has reportedly tried to challenge App Store guidelines, a possibility that Apple announced at WWDC 2020. However, that effort also did not elicit positive response.
“We even appealed the guideline under the new app review process announced at WWDC. We did not receive a response,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Verge.
In recent times, many companies and app makers including Microsoft and Telegram have expressed their disapproval over Apple’s strict app policies. Microsoft had to stop its XCloud testing on iOS and recently, the company also criticized Apple for the app’s policies.
So far it does not seem that Apple can go back to the App Store and will allow these apps. However, they really need to.