Last week, Microsoft surprised the gaming industry when it ended the iOS beta for Project xCloud early. Reports cited that it was Apple's App Store policies that made it difficult for the developers to fully test the capabilities of the service on the platform. Many are now viewing the development as a sign that the cloud gaming service might no longer be supported in the future. Others are criticising the company for its questionable practices that are seemingly anti-competitive against other brands.

Over the years, Apple has been known for its tendency to strictly control every aspect of its business. From hardware, software, after-market services, and third-party partnerships among others. Microsoft's premature exit from the App Store has baffled video game pundits as the Silicon Valley-based tech firm made some questionable decisions as of late. Meanwhile, it reportedly approved the Facebook Gaming app, but not after it had the library of games removed.

This practically turns the aforementioned app into a social network experience only for gaming-related media and communication. The New York Times talked to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, who said: "Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple's approval on the stand-alone Facebook Gaming app." As for the Project xCloud Tesflight preview on iOS, it limited Microsoft's app to one game only – "Halo: The Master Chief Collection."

The Xbox Team stated: "Apple stands alone as the only general purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services like Xbox Game Pass. And it consistently treats gaming apps differently, applying more lenient rules to non-gaming apps even when they include interactive content."

Project xCloud will be bundled with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate when it launches next month. One of its major features is access to a library of Microsoft first-party titles which can be played on various platforms. These include the Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S., Windows 10 computers and Android devices.

Xbox partners with Samsung for Project xCloud
Unlike Google's recently introduced game-streaming platform, the Stadia, feedback for Project xCloud have been surprisingly favourable. Photo: Microsoft

iOS was originally included in the roadmap, but it seems that this might no longer be the case if the App Store issue continues. Microsoft recently formed a partnership with Samsung to bring Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Project xCloud support to its devices. Furthermore, the manufacturer is expected to focus on its next-generation consoles which are due to ship this holiday season.