Facebook’s cloud gaming service will be available on iPhones and iPads via a web app that users can add to their home screens like a native app. You may play simple web games like Solitaire and match threes, as well as stream more graphically heavy titles like racing games, on the site.
However, because third-party developers like Facebook are prohibited from directing their app users to websites with purchasing methods that aren’t Apple’s own, it’s unclear how customers will find it. It’s a major source of contention for not only Facebook but also other game businesses like Epic, who have vocally opposed Apple’s control over iOS payments.
Facebook’s web games, which include HTML5-based titles as well as more complex titles that stream directly from the cloud, accept in-game purchases through the social network’s bespoke payment system, Facebook Pay.
Facebook’s move to deliver its game platform to iOS over the web follows in the footsteps of Amazon and Microsoft, both of which have released Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), for their respective cloud gaming services to avoid the App Store.
When Apple rejected Facebook’s attempt to put games in a standalone iOS app last year, the company took a stance and said it would look into alternatives. Shortly after, Apple amended its regulations to allow cloud-based games as long as they were submitted individually as applications to the App Store for review — a provision that Microsoft and others claimed didn’t address their ambition to launch their own iOS gaming stores.
Facebook Looks to Cloud Gaming As a Soltion for Apple Devices
“We’ve come to the same conclusion as others: web apps are the only option for streaming cloud games on iOS at the moment,” Facebook’s vice president of gaming, Vivek Sharma, said in a statement.
“As many have pointed out, Apple’s policy to ‘allow’ cloud games on the App Store doesn’t allow for much at all. Apple’s requirement for each cloud game to have its own page, go through a review, and appear in search listings defeats the purpose of cloud gaming. These roadblocks mean players are prevented from discovering new games, playing cross-device, and accessing high-quality games instantly in native iOS apps — even for those who aren’t using the latest and most expensive devices.”
While Facebook eventually discovered a way to bring its cloud games onto iOS, Apple’s Safari browser still places significant restrictions on web gaming. Sound is disabled by default, games are unable to send push alerts, and graphics are limited compared to native apps. There’s also the issue of discovery.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.