Facebook Calls Out Apple For Hobbling Gaming App

Facebook is calling out Apple for continuing to stifle its gaming ambitions.

“After months of submissions and repeated rejections by Apple, we’ve had to remove instant games entirely from the standalone app,” Facebook’s Gaming division tweeted on Friday.

The setback coincides with Apple’s decision to finally approve Facebook’s Gaming app for iOS devices after rejecting it multiple times.

Citing App Store guideline 4.7, Apple has rejected the app after determining that its primary purpose is to play games.

However, Facebook’s Gaming team insists the vast majority of the app’s activity on Android is from watching livestreams.

“We shared this stat with Apple, but no luck,” the team tweeted.

Facebook is not the only critic of Apple’s App Store policies.

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App developers and lawmakers have recently expressed their displeasure with the 30% share of in-app subscriptions Apple takes during an app’s first year in the App Store. (After a year, Apple takes a 15% cut of subscription revenue.)

Addressing the issue, Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) has characterized Apple as a monopolist.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook faced similar criticisms during a hearing hosted by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, last week.

The European Commission also a nnounced antitrust probes into the business practices of Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay, in June.

Dismissing the probes as groundless, Apple stated: “It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies that simply want a free ride and don't want to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Although not mentioned by name, Apple was likely referring to Spotify, which has been petitioning regulators to take a closer look at Apple’s operations for years.

A recent report from consulting firm Analysis Group estimated the App Store generated $519 billion in total billings and sales of products and services in 2019.

During the same period, Apple said digital items -- from mobile games to in-app purchases to paid apps -- produced $61 billion.
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