WWDC 2016: Apple Just Killed the Game Center App

This one has been a long time coming. Apple’s long-ignored Game Center app seems to be going away.

GameKit Framework Changes

The GameKit framework includes the following changes and enhancements:

  • The Game Center app has been removed. If your game implements GameKit features, it must also implement the interface behavior necessary for the user to see these features. For example, if your game supports leaderboards, it could present a GKGameCenterViewController object or read the data directly from Game Center to implement a custom user interface.
  • A new account type, implemented by the GKCloudPlayer class, supports iCloud-only game accounts.
  • Game Center provides a new generalized solution for managing persistent storage of data on Game Center. A game session (GKGameSession) has a list of players who are the session’s participants. Your game’s implementation defines when and how a participant stores or retrieves data from the server or exchanges data between players. Game sessions can often replace existing turn-based matches, real-time matches, and persistent save games, and also enable other models of interaction between participants.

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It doesn’t get much more clear that that. The Game Center app had serious bugs for the past several versions of iOS. It was obviously not something Apple cared about, and it’s unsurprising to see them put it out of its misery.