Facebook Brings Cloud Games to iOS via Web App

Alex Heath, reporting for The Verge:

Starting Friday, Facebook is bringing its nascent cloud gaming service to iPhones and iPads through a web app people will be able to add to their homescreens like a native app. The site will let you play simple web games like Solitaire and match-threes and stream more graphically intensive titles like racing games. […]

“We’ve come to the same conclusion as others: web apps are the only option for streaming cloud games on iOS at the moment,” Facebook’s vice president of gaming, Vivek Sharma, told The Verge in a statement. “As many have pointed out, Apple’s policy to ‘allow’ cloud games on the App Store doesn’t allow for much at all. Apple’s requirement for each cloud game to have its own page, go through review, and appear in search listings defeats the purpose of cloud gaming. These roadblocks mean players are prevented from discovering new games, playing cross-device, and accessing high-quality games instantly in native iOS apps — even for those who aren’t using the latest and most expensive devices.”

There’s a lot to roll your eyes at in this brief statement, but the big one is the last clause, implying that Apple’s stance on cloud gaming has anything at all to do with pushing people to buy the “latest and most expensive devices”. Say what you want about Apple’s App Store policies, they go to great lengths to keep older devices relevant for as long as possible — including with their own library of Apple Arcade games.

Will be interesting to see if these web app games are actually good, and if so, actually become popular.

Saturday, 24 July 2021