Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

In Email Obtained by MacStories, Phil Schiller Explains Steam Link App Rejection

John Voorhees, MacStories:

Valve announced on May 9th that it would release a video game streaming app called Steam Link. According to Valve, that announcement was made after the app was approved by Apple’s App Review team. As we reported Friday, Valve says that App Review reversed its decision the next day, rejecting the app for what Valve describe as ‘business conflicts with app guidelines.’

Steam Link is an app designed to allow users to stream Steam games from a Mac or PC to an iOS device or Apple TV over fast WiFi or Ethernet. Valve appealed the rejection on the basis that it was similar to other LAN-based remote desktop apps available on the App Store, but the appeal was denied. That led some people to question whether Apple’s rejection was motivated by a desire to protect gaming on iOS devices and the Apple TV.

Phil Schiller, in an email obtained by Voorhees:

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.

As with many controversial App Store rejections, this one comes as a result of poor communication: Apple apparently allowed the app, which meant Valve could announce it, and then rejected it for unclear reasons. It also sounds like Valve isn’t being entirely forthcoming about the app’s capabilities, or there’s some confusion about what the app allows — is it basically a VPN app, or does it have additional features? It sounds like there’s something Valve or Apple — or both — haven’t clearly stated about why this app was rejected, especially after being initially approved.