Valve says Apple rejected its Steam Link mobile streaming app

So much for easily playing PC games on your iPhone.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
2 min read

The physical Steam Link box, which wirelessly pipes PC games to a TV. The mobile app would do the same for phones.

Nate Ralph/CNET

If you were hoping to stream PC games from your powerful gaming rig to your iPhone or iPad, we've got some bad news. PC gaming giant Valve says Apple has rejected its Steam Link app, meaning it may not appear on the App Store after all. (It's available in beta on Android right now.)

Valve  says that  Apple  actually approved the iOS version for release on May 7 but decided to renege due to "business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team," according to Valve's statement. 

Valve says it appealed Apple's decision but didn't respond to a request for comment about whether it would make changes to the app to get Apple's approval yet again.

Here's Valve's full statement:

On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, 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. 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.  

Apple didn't respond to CNET's request for comment. 

However, in response to customers asking Apple to reconsider, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller reportedly said in emails that the Valve app violates a number of the company's guidelines. 

"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," Schiller said in emails, according to MacRumors. "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."

While Apple has many potential reasons to reject an app, it's fun to speculate that the company might have its own competing game streaming service in development. Sony has one, EA is working on one, and Microsoft is hoping to launch one by 2020.

First published May 24, 4 p.m. PT.
Update, May 29 at 8:42 a.m. PT: Adds reported response from Apple's Phil Schiller.