It was confirmed this week that xCloud will launch in 22 markets on September 15 with over 100 games playable on smartphones and tablets, but it won’t be available on iPhone and iPad.
Microsoft had held a public test for xCloud on iOS earlier this year, but this was suspended following the latest launch news.
In a statement issued to Business Insider, Apple confirmed that it was blocking xCloud’s release on the App Store because it did not fit within its guidelines.
Because Microsoft isn’t submitting each individual game to its review process, the app that enables access to those games is being blocked from publishing, Apple said.
“Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review, and appearing in charts and search,” Apple said in a statement.
“In addition to the App Store, developers can choose to reach all iPhone and iPad users over the web through Safari and other browsers on the App Store.”
In its own statement, Microsoft told The Verge that, “Apple stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass.”
The company also alleged that Apple “consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content.”
It added: “Our testing period for the Project xCloud preview app for iOS has expired. Unfortunately, we do not have a path to bring our vision of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to gamers on iOS via the Apple App Store.”
Microsoft said it remains interested in making xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate available on iOS devices and referenced the ESRB and other regional rating systems as proof Apple could make it happen.
“All games available in the Xbox Game Pass catalog are rated for content by independent industry ratings bodies such as the ESRB and regional equivalents,” a spokesperson said.
“We are committed to finding a path to bring cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iOS platform,” the statement goes on to say, though it’s unclear what exactly that path will be, given the impasse.