Six years after its debut with iOS 4, Apple will be officially killing the Game Center application with iOS 10. As some have noted, a handful of Apple’s first-party applications are now deletable in iOS 10.
Though, those apps can now be downloaded via the App Store. However, the Game Center app is completely gone with no way of downloading it.
As per Apple’s iOS 10 release notes, the actual service portion of Game Center will remain. Apple says if developers would like to implement leaderboard functionality, they’ll have to do it themselves.
- 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.
This makes sense, too. Why have a dedicated app that just list leaderboards when it can be implemented within the app to retain interaction? Over the years, Game Center has collected dust on many user’s home screen.
It’s worth noting that Game Center was touted as a feature for the Apple Watch in watchOS 3.