Apple blocks Steam’s plan to extend its video games to iPhones

“Apple Inc. has blocked the plans of the biggest distributor of PC-based video games to extend its reach into iPhones, according to the game distributor, a sign that Apple is serious about protecting its ability to take a cut of digital purchases made inside games on its mobile devices,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters.

“Steam, the dominant online store for downloaded games played on Windows PCs, had planned to release a free mobile phone app called Steam Link so that gamers could continue playing on their mobile phones while away from their desktop machines. But Apple has rejected the app, blocking its release, according to a statement from Steam’s parent company, the Bellevue, Washington-based Valve Corp,” Nellis reports. “‘The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed,’ Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi said in a statement to Reuters. ‘But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.'”

Nellis reports, “Steam did not give a precise reason for the App Store denials, saying only that Apple cited ‘business conflicts with app guidelines.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“The Steam Link app 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,” Brian Crecente reports for Variety. “‘The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team,’ Valve said in a statement.”

“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,” Crecente reports. “[The company’s lead on the technology, Sam] Lantinga told Variety that it’s best if that network is 5 GHz, not 2.4 GHz.”

Read more in the full article here.

“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,” Nick Statt reports for The Verge. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you want your app in Apple’s App Store, you have to follow Apple’s App Store guidelines. You cannot operate your own app store sales through Apple’s App Store.

From Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines:

3.1.1 In-App Purchase:
If you want to unlock features or functionality within your app, (by way of example: subscriptions, in-game currencies, game levels, access to premium content, or unlocking a full version), you must use in-app purchase. Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to “tip” digital content providers in the app. Apps and their metadata may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.

3.2.2 Unacceptable
(i) Creating an interface for displaying third party apps, extensions, or plug-ins similar to the App Store or as a general-interest collection.

if Steam wants into Apple’s App Store, they’ll have to follow the guidelines to which everybody else in Apple’s App Store conforms.

Steam Link app makes Apple TV interesting to gamers – May 10, 2018


  1. Bullshit. It’s basically a glorified VPN, letting you stream games from your own Mac or PC. There’s no separate App Store within it at all; it’s very similar to Amazon Video, where the only way to buy or rent a movie is to buy it on Amazon’s website. The worst part is that this move has damaged Apple’s reputation with gamers, with a massive flood of negative publicity (check out Kotaku, Polygon, or any of the other gamer-centric sites). This is an idiotic decision that never should have been made. Apple needs to relax its collective sphincter yet again and focus on things that matter like, maybe, new Mac Minis, new Mac Pros, keyboards that don’t suck, Apple branded monitors, an Apple TV remote that isn’t idiotic, updating iWork to be a real competitor, making sure its pro apps are for pros, creating MBPs support 32 gigs of RAM…

    1. “damaged Apple’s reputation with gamers”
      Yeah, I could hear the cries of all the iPhones and iPads having “Fortnite” forcibly removed from them. Only… not. Real gamers were not impacted by this because real gamers use PC’s or possibly consoles. Real gamers are still out there real gaming. Crybaby whiner complainer trolls; however, are doing what they always do in their corner of the internet, what’s new?

      And… of your things that matter….
      Heck no, not really, whatevs, no, no, competitor to who?, they are for pros and perhaps, once Intel gets it’s foot off the brake. I’m still thinking that Apple will ship a high performance mobile processor that uses 32G of LPDDR4 before Intel (A series!). 🙂

  2. Steve Jobs wasn’t big into games. Seems Tim Cook is continuing that tradition. My next PC is a PC. My first ever, but needed, because of Mac’s attitude for the gaming market and 3rd party add-ons and hardware peripherals, that cater more to PCs and the enthusiast computer rig is one where PCs offer many options to suite your needs, whereas with a Mac, you get what we make and you’ll like it. An attitude that doesn’t fly so well when flexibility is called for.

    This is not me or my rig but when finished, this flight simulator gaming set-up will be quite similar.

    Get with the times Apple!

    1. “Get with the times Apple!”
      Why? Serious question — would it actually be to their advantage? No company needs to — or should even try to — provide EVERYTHING in their particular business sector.
      Focus is one of the most powerful routes to a successful business.

      1. If only more people understood this simple truth. But no, they’ll be railing because Apple is not making an official health kit enabled suppository with a camera to help them see in great detail the types of sticks that they lodge in their butts.

  3. This is why I will never own an iPhone.

    Apple should be able to sell what it wants in its store. I should be able to run whatever I want on my property. Reasonable, and Democratic solution…. other stores and/or built in jailbreak setting.

    Apple blocks this, so it’s on them.

    Yes, I own iPads, but it’s less severe because tablets are not as central to my workflow, and I also have several Android tablets. Otherwise, it’s the same objection.

  4. I recently had a long break as well, as I was seriously injured. I missed sports during my illness, but video games saved me, they distracted me from disturbing thoughts. Once I woke up in the morning and I wanted to upgrade my account so that I could play at a higher level. I asked for help on the site where they do it professionally. They did their job very quickly and efficiently, I am very pleased with the result. This is a great option for those who don’t have time for it.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.