Netflix’s Games will be Offered on the Apple App Store, say Reports

Netflix has officially launched its mobile gaming service as of a few weeks ago. While the game service is only available for Android users at the moment, the streaming giant has said that it has an iOS version in the works. According to Bloomberg technology reporter Mark Gurman, however, the Apple App Store has policies in place that will bar Netflix providing games from the app.

Apple’s App Store policy states that external apps cannot be allowed to serve as game stores or hubs, which has already become a source of conflict with Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and other cloud gaming services. The only path left for these cloud gaming services is to follow in Facebook’s footsteps and use a web app to provide their games.

In the latest edition of the Power On newsletter, Gurman says that Netflix will likely find a loophole in Apple’s policy by offering the games through the App Store. This would mean that though games could be launched from the Netflix app, users could not download or play them there. This is the protocol currently being followed by Netflix for Android devices. Though the games are available in a fixed tab on Netflix, they are downloaded from the Google Play Store one-by-one.

Though this system works for now, it is not sustainable long-term if Netflix wishes to become a proper, comprehensive gaming service. Ideally, users should have the option to download as well as play the games from the gaming service. Thus Gurman foretells that Netflix will eventually resort to cloud gaming, which would suit Android users just fine, but Apple’s many policies would complicate matters and make cloud gaming an impossibility, forcing cloud gaming services to resign to web apps. The fastest of cloud gaming services on iOS is yet to be seen.
As Gurman says, “Apple will need to change its rules or grant Netflix an exemption”. He further adds, “That leaves the ultimate success of Netflix’s service in the hands of Apple, a longtime partner but also a growing rival.”