Facebook Launches Cloud Gaming for Web and Android but Not on iOS Due to ‘Arbitrary’ App Store Policies

Facebook today announced a new cloud gaming website and has also released an Android app for it. However, the company says that due to Apple’s “arbitrary” App Store policies, it is not able to bring the cloud gaming service to iPhone and iPad.

This is not the first time that Facebook has criticized Apple for its App Store policies. Facebook had previously launched Facebook Gaming for iOS without games due to App Store restrictions, and the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had criticized Apple in front of 50,000 employees for its policies.

Facebook says that its cloud gaming implementation will allow users to instantly play games within their browser or the Facebook app without having to install it first. All the games that will be available on the platform will be native to mobile so users will not require any additional controller, with the games also being playable on a PC with mouse and keyboard. The first set of games that will be available on the platform include Asphalt 9: Legends by Gameloft; Mobile Legends: Adventure by Moonton; PGA TOUR Golf Shootoutby Concrete Software, Inc.; Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale by Qublix Games; and WWE SuperCard by 2K Games.

Facebook has also explained in great depth as to what it is not promising with its new cloud-gaming initiative. It says that it is not trying to replace gaming consoles with its cloud gaming service and that it is not going to overpromise and under-deliver. It has also explained why it is not launching on iOS “for now” and blamed Apple for controlling the iOS App Store.

Even with Apple’s new cloud games policy, we don’t know if launching on the App Store is a viable path. “Of course, there is always the open Internet,” so mobile browsers may wind up being an option, but there are limitations to what we can offer on Safari. While our iOS path is uncertain, one thing is clear. Apple treats games differently and continues to exert control over a very precious resource. Stay tuned as we work out the best way for people to play games when and how they want, regardless of what device they bought.

Apple had updated the App Store guidelines in September to include game streaming services following heavy criticism from various sectors of the industry. However, the changes were not enough as Apple required that all games on these cloud gaming platforms first be submitted individually on the App Store as well.

[Via Facebook, CNBC]