In early December, OnLive announced it was releasing Android and iOS apps for its game streaming service, that would let you play PC titles on the go on your phone or tablet. The Android app appeared pretty promptly, but the iPad app is still nowhere to be seen – and now, representatives of the company are declining to comment on its status.
UPDATE: We’ve finally had word back from OnLive, but there’s no change so far. “The app is still within the Apple approval system,” a spokesperson says. We’re pressing for more details.
On 8 December, when the pair of apps were announced, OnLive said that the iPad app (an iPhone version is due later) was “still with Apple for approval”, and nearly a month on, it has still to appear on the iTunes App Store.
Apple has a notoriously rigorous (if sometimes arbitrary) iOS app approval process, and OnLive for iPad’s long period in app purgatory suggests the program has fallen foul of the company’s guidelines somehow.
Electricpig has made repeated requests to OnLive’s UK press office for comment this week, but had no official reply – and it appears we’re not alone. Gamesindustry.biz is also reporting today that it has yet to receive a statement from the company.
If the problem is not technical, it may be centred around the business model of subscription-based gaming that OnLive uses. Apple now allows for in-app subscriptions, although still seems to be wary of letting game developers make use of this feature. US-based Big Fish Games made headlines in November when it received approval for its own iOS game subscription service, only for it to be pulled days after release.
“It took longer than usual to be approved,” Big Fish founder Paul Thelen told Bloomberg before the app was yanked. “[Apple] needed to be convinced there’s a reason to charge customers every month.”
OnLive for Android has received glowing reviews in the month since release, with an impressive 4.3/5 average user rating on the Android Market, and has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.
Currently, an OnLive Viewer app is available for iPad, but this only allows you to watch other people’s gaming sessions, not play yourself, either with touchscreen controls or the new OnLive wireless gamepad. OnLive has not removed imagery of the OnLive iPad app from its website, but its FAQ does not mention the device.
We’re still working on the story, and will update as and when we get any more information.