23
May
2018

Apple Rejects Valve’s ‘Steam Link’ App on iOS After Previously Approving It Earlier this Month

We all knew in our hearts it was too good to be true, right? It looks like Apple has decided to reject the Steam Link app from Valve Software, according to news coming out of the game developer and creators of Steam. Valve originally announced news of Steam Link coming to iOS and Android on the 9th of this month, with the plan being to launch it the week of the 25th–aka this week. The Steam Link app would allow iOS and Android users to stream games from their Steam library on their desktop computer right to their mobile devices, and the whole thing actually worked quite well as we noted in our hands-on preview of Steam Link about a week later.

Well, apparently Apple is not cool with all of this, and so they’ve rejected the Steam Link app. But wait! That’s not all. According to Valve’s press release, Apple had already pre-approved the Steam Link app on May 7th, leading them to announce the news to the world on May 9th. The very next morning Apple revoked that initial approval, citing “business conflicts with app guidelines” that apparently Apple didn’t take into consideration when approving the app on the 7th. Here is the full statement from Valve courtesy of Robert Goode on Twitter.

Apple kiboshed Steam Link on iOS. Bummer. pic.twitter.com/BRshMmmDZB

— Robert Goode (@Shipwreck) May 24, 2018

As Valve notes in their statement, it’s not like the Steam Link app was doing anything that other remote desktop-style apps have been doing for years now, so it’s not entirely clear what Apple’s issue is in this particular case. I had some concerns that Apple might take issue with people being able to access Steam and make game purchases through their iOS devices, as Apple usually likes to take a slice of that sort of action, but again, that’s the type of thing you could be doing with another remote desktop client. The rejection of the Steam Link app is baffling, but only if you’re not already familiar with Apple’s completely uneven rulings when it comes to app approvals. In that case it should come as no surprise, but is disappointing nonetheless. Hopefully Apple will reconsider in the future, but for now, the Steam Link app is dead on iOS. Oh, but if you’re on Android? Go nuts, friends! *sigh*

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