Xbox chief Phil Spencer has promised that the company’s game streaming service will eventually come to iOS at some point in the future.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Spencer noted that there are “ongoing discussions” between Microsoft and Apple to make this happen.
“We’re committed to bringing xCloud to all mobile endpoints, including Apple’s big ecosystem,” he said. For customers out there — and I see it on Twitter all the time, people asking — they can just know we will get there. We remain committed.”
On September 15th, Microsoft launched game streaming on Android, allowing those in Canada and 21 other countries with a $16.99 CAD/month Game Pass Ultimate subscription to play more than 150 Xbox games through the cloud. This includes major exclusive titles like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Gears 5 and Sea of Thieves, as well as notable third-party titles such as Destiny 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, all through Game Pass Ultimate.
However, Xbox game streaming has not yet come to iOS, despite Microsoft expressing a desire to bring the service to as many platforms as possible. The reason for this exclusion is because Apple’s App Store rules prevent all-in-one game streaming services like Xbox’s, as well as others like Google’s Stadia and Nvidia’s GeForce Now.
While Apple recently updated its storefront policies, they still prevent Xbox game streaming as it currently exists. That’s because Apple still requires each Game Pass title to be made available on the App Store through its own app. Naturally, this would allow Apple to take its standard 30 percent cut on a per-title basis, rather than a less lucrative share of subscription fees.
In response, Microsoft argued that this would create a “bad experience” for consumers. Further, the company also stated that it’s unreasonable that gaming services like Game Pass are subject to being carved up in such a way when video streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ are able to carry all of their content within the app with no further regulation from Apple.
For now, though, Spencer seems to think Microsoft will be able to come to some sort of agreement with Apple. As it stands, it’s unclear when — if at all — the two companies may strike a deal.
It also remains to be seen whether Fortnite maker Epic’s ongoing legal battle with Apple — in which it argues that the Cupertino, California-based tech giant employs unfair, monopolistic App Store practices — might result in a loosening of the App Store’s policies that could, in turn, allow Game Pass to come to iOS.