Valve launched the Steam Link app in beta on Google Play earlier this month and planned to bring the app to iOS as well. Initially, Apple approved the app for launch only to turn around a couple days later and pull that approval leaving Valve with no way to get the app onto iOS. At the time the denial was issued, all Apple said was that the Steam Link app violated App Store terms. Valve had said that it hoped Apple would reconsider.
It appears that Apple is reconsidering with Phil Schiller having sent out emails to some Apple users who cried foul over the Steam Link app rejection. Reports indicate that the same email was received by multiple people indicating it is a canned response. In the message, Schiller says that Apple is working with Valve to fix whatever issues the app has so it can launch.
The email was posted on Reddit by a user going by “Beefmagigins”, the message reads:
Thank you for your email and being a customer of Apple products and 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.
Schiller’s message certainly doesn’t get specific on what terms Valve violated, but at least we know that Apple is willing to talk. It will be interesting to see if more details on what exactly Apple took issue with surfaces later. Some speculated that the rejection had to do with allowing games on iOS that Apple didn’t get a cut of the profits on. Apple takes 30% of the price of all paid apps that are sold on the App Store with many of those being games. Steam Link will let gamers buy games elsewhere and play them on iOS cutting out Apple’s ability to squeeze its own juice from the transaction.