Apple has remained silent despite several requests for a comment, but today Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller told the [97.9004] MacStories reader and other Apple customers about Reddit that she emailed Apple rethink. In the email, Schiller says that the Valve app violates a number of policies and Apple is working with the Valve team to fix the issue.
We put a lot of effort into bringing great games to our users in the App Store. We would love Valves games and services to run on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team has found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of policies related to user-generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, and more.
We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV to meet the store's guidelines. We've gone to great lengths to create an App Store that has the best experience for everyone.
We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow to make sure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.
The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play Steam games on an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV via a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or PC Mac. As our sister site told TouchArcade in a review of the app, it enables "real" PC-like gaming experiences on Apple devices.
"I saw a very real situation in which many people simply stopped buying stuff from the App Store and instead bought exclusive Steam games through Valve," wrote TouchArcade editor-in-chief Eli Hodapp.
As MacStories indicates, we do not know the details of the policies that violate the Steam Link app, but Apple has strict rules for features such as inappropriate app filters, in-app purchases, loot Boxes, and more. Steam Link, as a remote access app, allows customers to buy Steam games without standard in-app purchase methods, which is likely to be one of Apple's main problems.
Valve announced the Steam Link app on May 9 after Apple's first approval, but Apple later said that the provisional approval was a mistake and told Valve that the app could not be released due to "business conflicts". Valve's statement:
On Monday, May 7, Apple released the Steam Link app for publication. On May 9, Valve released the news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked his approval and referred to business conflicts with app policies that were allegedly not implemented by the original review team.
Valve appealed and said the Steam Link app just worked like a LAN-based remote desktop, much like many remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, this appeal was denied to release the Steam Link App for iOS from the release. The team has spent many hours with this project and the approval process, so we are clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider this in the future.
Valve has not commented on which features need to be optimized or removed to obtain Apple's approval, and it is not clear when a modified version of the Steam Link app will be available for sale if Valve or willing to make the necessary changes to the Steam Link experience.