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Steam Link for iOS ditches in-app game purchasing in bid for Apple approval

By Cal Jeffrey · 7 replies
Jun 15, 2018
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  1. Valve has made some changes to its iOS version of the Steam Link app in the hope that Cupertino will approve it. Steam Link is an app that allows users to stream any game in their library to their mobile devices or smart TV.

    When Valve initially submitted it to Apple, it was approved, but the next day the company rejected it due to “business conflicts” with App Store guidelines that the original review team had missed. Back in May, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller claimed that the app violated several rules, but reassured customers that it was working with Valve to correct the problems.

    MacRumors now reports that the Steam Link iOS beta that just went up on TestFlight is missing the option to purchase games. “Instead, the app now informs users that games are available to purchase on a PC, or Mac.”

    So it would appear that the business conflicts were related to Apple’s policies regarding in-app purchasing. Usually, the App Store takes a 30-percent cut of anything sold within an app except those that require subscriptions. Valve has now removed this feature and presumably will be resubmitting it for approval.

    The Android beta has been available on Google Play since the middle of May and reportedly works quite well.

    If you are interested in running it, you need to have a 5Ghz router with your PC connected directly to it through an ethernet port. The app sets up an ad-hoc connection between your phone and PC, so both devices must be on the same network. Steam Link uses the power of your rig to stream games to your phone.

    The removal of in-app purchasing is by no means a guarantee that Apple will approve Steam Link. As I see it, Valve’s app still poses a threat to App Store sales. Why buy the iOS version of say, XCOM: Enemy Within when you can buy it from Steam and play it on both platforms?

    Permalink to story.

  2. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 323   +200

    It's ridiculous that Apple my see Steam as a threat, just because they want to enable game streaming on our phones. The most valuable company in the world is worried about something so insignificant.
    Evernessince likes this.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,515   +2,825

    It's not even like the games on Apple devices even target the same market as steam games either. They really are just adding another reason to get an android device.
  4. Kwerpi

    Kwerpi TS Rookie

    Shh don’t tell Apple what the Moonlight app does, because that app is in their store and does the same thing.

    Apple already allows so many competitors on the App Store such as Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon video, Vudu etc etc, I don’t see why this is any different, especially since it requires a PC (or Mac) to host the content on your network, should make it less of a competition to apps that let you access content anywhere.

    Already considering Android for my next upgrade, if this doesn’t go through, it will be all but guaranteed.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  5. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,531   +365

    Honestly, I see this being approved. Apple has always been sticky when it comes to apps with in-game purchasing. I'm sure this was the problem with Steam Link, and the fact that Schiller said that they were working with Valve indicates that both companies are willing and able to get the app onto the App Store.

    Don't worry. Steam Link is coming to iOS. The real question is when. I have no clue how long the approval process takes with Apple. It could be on the store tomorrow or next week for all I know.
  6. axiomatic13

    axiomatic13 TS Addict Posts: 199   +127

    That Apple walled garden still has walls. Noting to see here. Move to places without walls.
  7. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,345   +862

    From what I understand, technically the app never had in-app purchasing, as the app doesn't process any purchasing (but instead it just streams the screen from a PC).

    But hey, when did a lot of Apple's decisions ever make sense?
  8. Nighthawkrl

    Nighthawkrl TS Rookie

    If you aren't already a PC gamer with a Steam library full of games, then you will not be randomly downloading the Steam Link app and buying games for it. I also want to point something out, there are already many apps that allow you to stream games from your PC, this is just Apple being ridiculous. PC + Android = Freedom

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