Apple has once again rejected the Facebook Gaming app on the iOS App Store, reinforcing that the company is not as open to competition. The app was being reviewed by Apple for the past few weeks, but now the company has decided to definitely reject it.
A new report from the New York Times details how the Facebook team is not surprised by Apple’s decision, as they have been trying to launch the Facebook Gaming app on the App Store unsuccessfully since February.
Facebook Gaming offers a complete gaming platform with a dedicated social network and the ability to live stream gameplay. Furthermore, the Facebook platform also offers its own games inside the app, which would be the main cause for Apple not approving the app.
People familiar with the matter told the NYT that Apple continues to claim that the App Store rules do not allow third-party apps to distribute games as a separate platform. The report mentions that the Facebook Gaming app was rejected by Apple at least five times before the final decision.
The reason behind this, of course, is related to the fact that Apple doesn’t want its own App Store and Apple Arcade business to be affected. By allowing other companies to offer their own games stores on the iPhone and iPad, Apple would certainly lose a considerable amount of money.
Games like Words With Friends, Thug Life, and others are available to be played in-app, some with microtransactions attached — and while HTML5 games are permitted per Apple’s terms, they are only allowed “as long as code distribution isn’t the main purpose of the app, the code is not offered in a store or store-like interface, and provided that the software is free or purchased using in-app purchase.”
Sources speaking to the New York Times say that Facebook has undergone multiple iterations of the Facebook Gaming app submitted to Apple, each one progressively making the interface less “store-like” in an attempt to meet the conditions.