Valve said that its Steam Link app, which allows PC gamers to stream content to their mobile products, won't come to iOS devices. Steam Link was supposed to be available for that platform, but Apple is said to have revoked its approval of the app shortly after Valve revealed it.
Steam Link is the latest of Valve's efforts to make Steam games accessible outside the usual PC setup. Remember the Steam Machine program? Steam Link achieves the same goal of letting PC gamers play something on their television sets (and in this case on-the-go) without having to invest in a full living room system. Instead, people could use the Android devices, Apple products, and wireless controllers they already own.
Yet it seems that Apple takes issue with something about Steam Link. Here's what Valve said in its email to the press:
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.
It's clear that Valve was blindsided by Apple's decision--the lead image for this article, which shows an iPhone running Steam Link with a third-party controller attached, is still live on the Steam Link web page. We doubt the company wants to use a device for which Steam Link isn't and might never be available to promote the service. Valve's continued use of the image is a bittersweet reminder of what could have been.
A beta version of the Steam Link app remains available for Android devices. The app is free to use, and while you can purchase a Steam Controller to use in conjunction with the service, you don't have to. Here's to hoping Apple product owners get the same options in the future.