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Facebook Gaming Just Took A Huge Shot At Apple

Facebook Gaming has been gaining some major steam in recent months. With the closing of Microsoft's Mixer platform, more streamers and gamers are turning to Facebook than ever before. Facebook Gaming has recently taken the next step, launching free-to-play cloud gaming. This allows Facebook users to stream games straight from the social media site's servers. Unfortunately for Facebook users with an Apple device, cloud gaming will not be available on iOS — and Facebook has been more than willing to call Apple out on the reasons why.


According to a report from CNN, this was not Facebook's original intent when it came to launching cloud gaming. Facebook's representatives claim the social media giant submitted a Facebook Gaming app five times for Apple's approval, but was rejected each time. Apple requires every individual game to go be submitted as its own standalone app. These difficulties in getting approval from Apple led to the Facebook Gaming app being launched earlier this year without any playable games.

In a recent post, Facebook called Apple out on social media. The official Facebook Gaming Twitter account tweeted, "You'll just need the Facebook app on Android. iOS won't work for now. Because, Apple (sigh)."

Almost immediately, fans on social media began to pick up on the shade being thrown Apple's way. In an ironic twist, more than a few replies came from people who were too wary of Facebook to consider using the social network's gaming services.


CNBC contacted representatives at both Apple and Facebook Gaming to try to get a handle on the situation. Essentially, Apple's main problem with Facebook Gaming is that it functions like a third-party storefront. Because some of the titles on Facebook Gaming allow for microtransactions, the service is seen as being in violation of Apple's guidelines. Epic Games recently ran into a similar issue when it implemented a direct payment system that would have essentially cut Apple's profits from in-game purchases. This action resulted in Fortnite being removed entirely from the App Store.

In CNBC's initial coverage of the feud between Apple and Facebook, Apple claimed that it had offered "helpful feedback" to Facebook on more than one occasion. It seemed as though Apple had made an effort to explain to Facebook what could be changed in order to make Facebook Gaming more of a viable option on iOS. However, according to Facebook's VP of Play, Jason Rubin, that's not exactly what happened.

Jason Rubin shared CNBC's article on Twitter along with the caption, "Apple claimed to offer us 'helpful feedback' in this story. Responding to multiple requests for approval of our iOS cloud concepts with 'this fails under policy' is better than the radio silence we have experienced at times in the past, but that's hardly 'helpful feedback.'" In other words, Ruben seems to feel like Apple just kept blocking Facebook Gaming's launch without giving the company any solid reasons or tips on how to fix things.


According to CNBC's coverage of Facebook Gaming, the social media giant stands to make some money from in-game purchases. Facebook makes 30% off of any microstransactions that occur when playing a game on the platform. The other 70% will go to the game's developers. For purchases made on Android devices, Facebook doesn't get a cut at all, instead giving that 30% to Google. However, the monetary value of these transactions apparently has nothing to do with Apple's reluctance to work together. 

Rubin told CNBC, "We would be willing to give the 30% to Apple, that is not what's holding us up," Rubin said. "What's holding us up is we're not allowed to do the things that we're doing on Android."

That being said, it doesn't seem as though Facebook has completely given up on the possibility of working something out with Apple in the future. In a blog post detailing the launch of Facebook Gaming's new cloud-based games, Jason Rubin explained, "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."


Facebook is turning out to have a rather dramatic month in the world of gaming. Not only is the company butting heads with Apple over Facebook Gaming's new cloud-based games, but the release of the Oculus Quest 2 has had plenty of problems of its own. Despite this, it's clear that Facebook is eager to get into the gaming business in a big way. Earlier this year, Facebook made a big gaming move and acquired video game developer Ready At Dawn. Hopefully the feud between Apple and Facebook can be settled soon, before a large number of gamers miss out on whatever surprises Facebook Gaming has in store.