Valve’s Steam is on a collision course with Apple

“Through easy consumer access, frequent sales, and providing a worldwide platform for both mainstream and independent developers, Steam has built a base of more than 150 million users worldwide,” Thomas Wilde writes for GeekWire. “In 2017, 7,600 games were released via Steam, leading to $4.3 billion in sales.”

“Steam’s ubiquity, ease of use, and market penetration all go a long way, but it’s a mixed blessing for anyone besides, arguably, Valve itself,” Wilde writes. “Independent developers often run into problems with the service’s frequent flash sales, where a 25-75% discount can slash into what can already be a slim profit margin.”

Last week, “Apple unexpectedly blocked the Steam Link app on the Apple Store, citing ‘business conflicts.’ The Steam Link is another part of Valve’s attempts, much like the Steam Machine, to get Steam out of consumers’ computer rooms and home offices and into the living room, where most entertainment is typically consumed,” Wilde writes. “By blocking the Steam Link’s release on iOS, Apple has denied Valve access to its app store, one of the few digital storefronts in the world that is bigger than Steam. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller’s assurances notwithstanding, it’s easy to see why Apple would consider Steam a threat to its market share.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re fairly certain that Valve is welcome to submit an app that follows Apple’s App Store guidelines if they’d like to participate in Apple’s App Store revolution.

Apple’s Phil Schiller explains App Store’s rejection of Steam Link – May 28, 2018
Apple blocks Steam’s plan to extend its video games to iPhones – May 25, 2018


  1. If I have to guess, I would say that money is at the core of this dispute. Revenue sharing is very likely one of the major sticking points. Valve wants access to Apple’s iOS market, but the company probably doesn’t want to share the revenues, especially for subscriptions, according to App Store policies.

    Other possible sticking points are Apple’s pesky user privacy and user transparency rules. Companies like Valve want all of the marketing data that they can collect.

    If Apple plays hardball with Valve, don’t be surprised if Valve resorts to legal action based on recent developer litigation in the EU.

  2. “We’re fairly certain that Valve is welcome to submit an app that follows Apple’s App Store guidelines if they’d like to participate in Apple’s App Store revolution.”

    Uh, yeah, but Steams whole reason to exist: an app that manages your game downloads, can never match Apple’s guidelines. So there’s that.

  3. Ha..Ha..Ha.. Sue away Apple isn’t required to carry a competitor in their store, Google, Amazon, Netflix or Valve are there, because Apple has allowed it at their whim and on their terms.

  4. Non-issue. Steam is a storefront for computer games. Steam wants to place its storefront within Apple’s iOS Store without compensating Apple for the traffic Apple generates to Steam. Steam is hoping to lure iOS developers to the Steam storefront, then pay one-time fees whenever a user pays for THEIR FIRST iOS App through the Steam app. Apple isn’t going to go for that at all.

  5. Why are people so oblivious to the fact that having Steam work on a Mac is a major boon to actually selling Macs. Apple’s never tried very hard to enabling gaming on the Mac, this is one more nail in that coffin.

          1. Yes… but blocking from the Mac App Store doesn’t block people from installing those applications. You can go get an application from anywhere you like.

            1. That is true, but I was replying in the context of App stores.

              On a larger scale I suppose Apple could do something similar to what MS was accused of doing by changing the underlying system APIs to ‘break’ competing application software and effectively ‘block’ it temporarily.

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