Once again, Apple proves that it doesn’t deserve its monopoly on mobile games.
I’ve written extensively recently about how, despite being one of the biggest players in gaming by revenue, Apple is a hostile presence for gaming innovation and value. High taxes on its developers and restrictive rules limit competition and consumer choice, while preventing certain business models from proliferating on its tightly controlled platform. You’d be forgiven if you thought they were doing this to protect their business, but there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that Apple is simply ignoring, or perhaps just dismissive of, what gamers and game developers want and need.
Nothing illustrated this point more succinctly than this post. shared By The Verge’s Tom Warren from a publisher behind one of the best PC games and best Xbox games of its year of release, Untitled Goose Game. The whimsical puzzler puts you in command of a belligerent water bird, to jarring effect.
Developed by House House, Cabel Sasser, co-founder of game publisher Panic Inc, explained why Apple blocked the game from coming to the MacOS store, and it’s pretty hilarious.
When app and game developers submit their programs to closed stores, they are subject to the rules and regulations of each individual store. Many of the regulations make a lot of sense, as they aim to block things like hate speech and malware. However, others are a bit less sensitive. Apple notoriously prevented Xbox Cloud Gaming from coming to iOS because it wanted Microsoft and its partners to submit all games as individual entities to the iOS App Store, a feat that would prove impossible when games come and go from the service. It would be like asking Netflix to list each and every show and movie it stores as separate downloads on iOS. That could, at least, be construed as anti-competitive. However, in the case of Untitled Goose Game, Apple’s reasoning doesn’t make any sense.
Sasser explained that Apple blocked Untitled Goose Game because the reviewer for the presentation didn’t know how to skip the credits sequence. Realizing their mistake, Apple came up with another reason to block the game, at which point Panic Inc. simply thought it wasn’t worth their time and effort to circumvent Apple’s arbitrary rules.
In creative products like games, Apple is literally leaving money on the table by being so restrictive with its access rules. However, Apple also has more money than God, so I doubt they’ll lose much sleep over it.
In any case, Untitled Goose Game is available on pretty much every other platform, and it sucks. You should definitely play it.