Last week Netflix began rolling out its long-anticipated game service on Android devices, promising that an iOS version was “on its way”. A new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that Apple’s strict policies will prevent Netflix from integrating its games into its app, instead forcing the streaming service to make each title available for individual download on the App Store.
The revelation isn’t wholly surprising as this is a similar method to how the platform is operating on Android. Users can browse through games (there are currently only five) from a dedicated tab in the Netflix App. But after selection, Google Play opens, where the title can then be downloaded after confirming your Netflix login details.
Apple’s guidelines preventing third-party apps from hosting games has caused controversy with cloud gaming services like Google’s Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud and Nvidia’s GeForce NOW.
Last year the iPhone manufacturer introduced new rules that prevented its rivals from creating unified gaming hubs where users can quickly browse, discover and play titles in the fashion that Netflix operates its video-on-demand streaming. As yet, the only workaround for these platforms to offer their services on iOS is via a web browser - hardly a slick, seamless playing experience.
If Netflix plans to eventually make its games downloadable and playable from within a single cohesive app, Gurman suggests that the streaming giant would have to seek an exemption to bring the platform to iOS, which he ominously predicts will leave “the ultimate success of Netflix’s service in the hands of Apple, a longtime partner but also a growing rival”.
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