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Published on May 25th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Apple rejects Valve’s Steam Link gaming app for Apple TV

Apple has blocked the release of the much-anticipated Steam Link application from software developer Steam that would have allowed Apple TV users to play thousands of popular games on their televisions citing “business conflicts with app guidelines” as the reason.

Valve, the parent company of Steam, released a statement to late Thursday saying Apple recently approved the app and then rescinded the decision.

“On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release,” the statement read. “On Wednesday, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. 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 appealed, explaining 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 statement went on to read. “Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”

Valve has not commented on exactly what it is willing to do in changing any of the app’s features.

Apple has not responded to requests for comment made Thursday by

Experts interviewed by Reuters speculated the problem centers on in-app purchases known as micro-transactions, in which gamers can buy tokens to extend gameplay.

While the Steam Link app does not have built-in functionality for direct game purchases, users can buy and download Steam games to a connected PC through the Big Picture mode interface while connected through the app. 

Many believe Apple is wanting to negotiate a share of that micro-transaction revenue in return for allowing the app to be sold through its online stores. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of purchases made within apps distributed through its App Store. With Steam also taking a cut of games it distributes through its store, which is built into the app, Apple’s guidelines do not allow for store-within-a-store purchases unless the sale first goes through Apple’s paywall first.

By early 2018, Steam had over 150 million registered accounts with a peak of 18.5 million concurrent users online. The website Steam Spy estimates there are over 7,700 published games available to purchase on Steam.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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