Apple rejects Facebook Gaming app from the iOS App Store

Apple has rejected the submission of the Facebook Gaming platform from the iOS App Store at least five times since February.

According to a new report from the New York Times, the Facebook team is not surprised by Apple’s decision because they have been unsuccessfully to try to launch the Facebook Gaming app on the App Store since February.

Amid coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Facebook announced its Facebook Gaming app back in April. The free app, available on Android, lets users play simple HTML5 games with friends as well as watch live streams of other players.

The New York Times reported that Facebook submitted the app to Apple in February. It was denied on the Section 4.7 of Apple’s guidelines, prohibiting HTML5 games in a store or store-like interface.

After the original rejection, Facebook has changed the design of the app in some ways, including removing categories, colorful icons, and the ability to sort games. Apple  said no to each of those submissions.

Facebook is reportedly “weighing its next move,” which might include launching Facebook Gaming without any game at all or with games that are harder to find. That might leave only the social networking aspects and gaming streams of the app.

The report comes amid ongoing antitrust scrutiny for Apple and its App Store dealings. The Cupertino tech giant is presently the target of a Justice Department probe into its App Store practices.

Apple has also generated some controversy for reportedly pressuring the email app Hey with the aim of adding in-app purchase options for subscriptions – a capability it lacked to skirt its 30% App Store fees.

Meanwhile, Apple has its own gaming service in the form of Apple Arcade, a $4.99-per-month subscription which allows users to play exclusive titles on iPad, iPhone, Mac, and other devices in Apple’s lineup.