Valve recently announced a Steam Link app that allowed streaming games from your Steam library directly to your smartphone and also functions as a bluetooth controller. The beta for Steam link on Android was quite successful, and Apple seems to be threatened as it has blocked the app on iOS, citing “Business conflicts”.
It’s hard to predict what kind of conflict Apple is referring to here, but Apple clearly doesn’t want the Steam link app on it’s platform, as Valve appealed a second time after the first rejection. It may be somewhat related to the fact that games are responsible for 49% of all iOS App Store revenues, contributing significantly to the total profits from the store. The free Steam Link app on the other hand is probably seen by Apple as an encroachment on it’s turf since it’s free and links to thousands of Steam games.
“On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, 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 remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”
Valve said in a statement that the team spent hours testing the app on the platform, so they are clearly disappointed, and hopes that Apple will reconsider this decision in the future. Given the fact that it was rejected twice, I find that somewhat unlikely, but I guess we’ll see. What’s bugging me is that there are already numerous streaming apps on the iOS store, so I’m not sure what the exact reason for blocking Valve’s Steam Link app is. We’ll let you know if and when Apple responds to Valve’s statement.