Facebook announced its gaming service in April, but a report today says that Apple has rejected Facebook Gaming five times since February, citing review guidelines that prohibit apps with the main purpose of distributing “casual games” (via NYT).
There are three parts to the Facebook Gaming app: Watching live streams of gamers; a social network area for gamers; and playing HTML5 games. App Store Review Guidelines (4.7) have a rule about HTML5 games:
4.7 HTML5 Games, Bots, etc.
Apps may contain or run code that is not embedded in the binary (e.g. HTML5-based games, bots, etc.), as long as code distribution isn’t the main purpose of the app, the code is not offered in a store or store-like interface […]
Facebook changed the app’s design several times, submitting it to the App Store and Google Play. Google approved the app but Apple did not, saying the redesign still broke rule 4.7. Citing “people with knowledge of the social network” NYT says Facebook might release Facebook Gaming without any playable games. Another option the company has considered is to make it difficult for people to find games in the app.