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Apple blocks Steam Link from App Store, snubs Valve's appeals

Published: 18:45, 25 May 2018
Steam logo with grayscale library in background.

Apple have once again proven their Appleness after they've blocked Valve's Steam Link, a game and video streaming application for iOS devices. Apparently, the company found the app to constitute a business conflict with app guidelines.

Valve Steam Link to be coming to both Android and iOS, although the Android version is the only one doing fine here. Apple initially cleared the app for launch on 07 May 2018 but backpedalled on the decision three days later.

Valve's official statement says that Apple revoked the app's approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines. Apparently, these had been missed by the original review team.

Steam's leadership appealed, claming that Steam Link is merely a "LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store." Nevertheless, Apple didn't budge.

The Steam Link team said they're very disappointed with the outcome, hoping that Apple will reconsider. As much as we'd wish them luck, Apple aren't quite the easiest company to work with out there, so they may need much more than just luck.

Apple have always been aggressive when it comes to protecting their platforms and even though apps like Remote Desktop or Team Viewer are readily available for iOS platforms, they're not Valve.

Yes, these apps offer pretty much the same thing and seem to do pretty well. Further clue may be absence of PlayStation Now or any official remote play solution for Sony's consoles on Apple's platforms.

Many argue that Apple is afraid allowing Steam Link would mean their App Store gaming would get competition. Even though the reasoning behind this move is just childish, I wouldn't put it past Apple to think this way.

AltChar Mockup of an Android phone with a Steam service's logo on it Steam

Either way, many users are disgruntled, to say the least. Many of them purchased Steam controllers and were quite excited over the idea, only to be let down by Apple's paranoia. Furthermore, questions were raised whether this will reflect on Microsoft's cloud streaming policies, but we're sure we have not heard the last of this anyway.

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