Steam Link, Valve’s game streaming app, has been blocked from release by Apple, Valve claimed in a statement to Ars Technica. The app, which can stream PC games to a separate device on the same Wi-Fi network, was blocked due to “conflicting with app guidelines,” according to Apple.
Why Was it Blocked?
The answer to that question is somewhat unclear. Perhaps Steam Link’s ability to stream games purchased through Valve’s Steam store didn’t comply with Apple’s guidelines. Apple requires a thirty percent share of every in-app purchase. This may have conflicted with the way Valve presents the Steam Link service.
Valve claimed in their statement that “the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store.” The decision was appealed, but the appeal was dismissed by Apple.
So No Steam Link on iOS?
Valve expressed their hopes for Apple to reconsider their decision in the future. As such, it’s not impossible that there may be a Steam Link on iOS someday. However, for the time being, the app remains blocked from release. Perhaps the two companies can work out a deal in order to greenlight the app.
While the app definitely competes directly with one of the App Store’s biggest revenue streams: games. Allowing users to stream games from their PC from a free app may have been a step too far for Apple. It seems the phone giant would rather be the big fish in a small pond in this fight. Allowing Valve to offer a free app for game streaming could have been seen as too big a threat to their games sales.
What if I Want to Stream to My Phone?
While the app was blocked from iOS, it is available on Android devices. While this is no help for iPhone users, it might convince those on the fence to switch to Android. Other alternatives include Steam’s Big Picture Mode, which allows users to play their Steam Library on a TV screen. In any event, it doesn’t seem Valve will be too badly hurt by Apple’s snub. Steam made $730 million dollars in 2014 alone, according to PC Gamer.