Apple Rejects Valve’s Steam Link App Citing ‘Business Interests’

Valve’s Steam Link app has been rejected from iTunes by Apple, effectively blocking its release on iOS, according to Valve.

According to a new report from CNET, the Steam Link app, which allows Steam users to stream their library of PC video games to a smartphone where they can play them while at home, was originally approved for release on May 7, Valve said, and the company announced it two days later. But the next morning, Apple pulled the plug on the app, citing “business conflicts.”

“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 realised by the original review team,” said Valve.

Valve appealed the decision, stating that the app functions as a remote desktop similar to many that are already available on the App Store, such as Moonlight.

“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,” continues Valve’s statement. “Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release.”

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.

The app used the same H.264 real-time encoding tech found in Valve’s physical Steam Link box. With the app, most of a user’s Steam Library of games are playable on their phone in 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second, but only when they are connected to their home network.

A beta version of the Steam Link app remains available for Android devices. The app is free to use, and while you can purchase a Steam Controller to use in conjunction with the service, you don’t have to. Here’s to hoping Apple product owners get the same options in the future.

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