Google Stadia Will Launch As A Web App On iOS To Bypass App Store Rules


Google Stadia will be launching on iOS soon as a web app; this will allow it to bypass the app store and avoid getting banned by Apple.

Google is finally bringing Stadia to iOS, launching it as a web app in order to bypass the rules and restrictions of the App Store. Google’s video game streaming service is celebrating its one year anniversary. As part of the festivities, Google has announced that players can get a free copy of Stadia Premiere Edition, usually valued at $100, if they buy Cyberpunk 2077.

Google can hardly be blamed for playing it safe with the app store. Apple’s rules and regulations regarding the platform are notoriously draconian, and several major companies have spoken out against them. Epic Games demonstrated that extremely vividly when it tried to give Fortnite players a discount on in-game V-bucks. Since that discount would rob Apple of its cut from in-app purchases, the tech giant quickly banned Fortnite. This led to a lengthy legal battle which is raging to this day; the two companies are set to go to trial over Apple’s store practices in 2021.

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Related: Google Stadia Dev Says Streamers Should Pay Fees To Stream Games

Google, meanwhile, is taking a much quieter approach to contending with Apple. As Polygon reports (via Stadia), the iOS version of Stadia will be launched as a web app, rather than an application hosted in the store. This will allow Google to circumnavigate terms and regulations that prevent cloud-based game streaming services from appearing on the app store; regulations that have already prevented Microsoft’s game streaming service, Project xCloud, from showing up in the digital marketplace. The first phase of this new Stadia web app will be launching sometime in the next few weeks.

This is a shrewd move from Google, but one wonders just how well it’ll pay off. Stadia was widely considered a failure when it launched in 2019. Critics took issue with its unfair pricing scheme, its barren launch library, the myriad of technical issues that plagued it, and the demanding internet requirements that it mandated in order to function effectively; requirements that few customers could actually manage. All told, people were taken with the concept of Stadia, but the execution just didn’t work. Google, to its credit, has spent the intervening years refining the service and filling out its library, but that alone isn’t enough to bring new players in.

The service’s new iOS integration means that a whole new audience of gamers will get a chance to test Google’s beautiful vision of cloud-based game streaming. Whether or not they will is another story. After the year Stadia has had, it’s hard to take the service seriously, even with news like this. If Stadia can’t improve its image soon, getting banned from the app store will be the least of its worries.

Next: Google’s So Desperate To Make Stadia Work, It’s Giving It Away For Free

Source: Polygon (via Stadia)

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Updated: November 20, 2020 — 2:32 am

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