Apple Explains why the Steam Link App was Rejected

The Steam Link App story continues! After a period of silence, Apple has explained why Valve’s Game Streaming App was rejected from the Apple App Store. They also clearly state that it could still happen.

Macrumors recently reported that Apple’s Phil Schiller responded to a question from one of their readers. He explained why the Steam Link App was rejected from the App Store.

“We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve’s games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve’s Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc. We’ve discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store’s guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone. We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.” -Phil Schiller via Macrumors

What makes the Steam Link different from other Streaming Apps?

So what makes the Steam Link App different than other Game Streaming Apps that have been approved for the App Store? It really all comes down to Steam’s Storefront. They are one of the biggest distributors of Games in existence.

If we use the Steam Link App on Android as a reference, we can see that sales are not processed through the Google Play Store. Instead, users that purchase content within the App process their sale through Steam’s internal payment system. If we put two-and-two together, this tells us that in the iOS version, Apple wouldn’t receive their fee from in-App purchases. This is one of the business conflicts that Valve cited in their recent statement.

Can it be fixed?

Apple is making it clear that they haven’t closed the book on allowing the Steam Link App in the App Store. They are expressing a willingness to work with Valve to produce an App that falls within Apple’s guidelines.

It appears that Valve would either need to create a version of the App that doesn’t include the ability to make purchases, or they would need to use Apple’s in-App purchase system to process transactions. Either option is possible from a technical perspective. The ball is clearly in Valve’s court at this point. Will they make additional changes? It’s anyone’s guess, but it appears that this story isn’t over yet.

What do you think? Will Valve and Apple find a solution that allows iOS Gamers to enjoy the Steam Link App? Let us know in the comments!

Also published on Medium.

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