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Apple rejects Valve’s Steam Link game streaming app over ‘business conflicts’

Apple rejects Valve’s Steam Link game streaming app over ‘business conflicts’


Valve tried to appeal, but Apple would not allow the app on the App Store

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Valve’s game streaming service Steam Link won’t be coming to iOS today, despite a successful Android beta launch earlier this month. According to the official Steam Database Twitter account, Apple rejected the Steam Link app over apparent “business conflicts with app guidelines.” Steam Link was first announced for mobile back in March, and the app functions as a remote desktop so users can access their Steam library of PC games from a mobile device and stream them directly for touchscreen play or for use with a Bluetooth controller.

It’s not exactly clear at the moment what the “business conflict” here is, and whether it has anything to do with Apple’s somewhat contentious 30 percent App Store fee for all purchases, in-app or otherwise. It may perhaps be due to the fact that Steam Link allows an iOS user to access another app store, namely Steam, within Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem. Apple was not immediately available for comment.

“On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release,” the statement reads. “On Wednesday, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team. Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, the appeal was denied, leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release.”

Valve says “we hope Apple will reconsider in the future,” suggesting that this isn’t something that can be remedied quickly or the product of some type of misunderstanding, as the statement seems to initially suggest. That’s unfortunate for iOS users who have extensive Steam libraries and are eager to try out Valve’s game streaming technology now, especially now that it’s on mobile after years of development as a desktop solution for the living room.