Sorry iPhone users, Apple won’t let you have the Steam Link app

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Welp, it looks like the App Store won’t be getting Steam’s newest app after all.

Apple has rejected Steam Link, an app that lets you play Steam games on your iPhone or iPad, even though the company initially approved the app for its App Store.

According to a statement from Valve, Apple “revoked its approval” of Steam Link on May 10, one day after it was officially announced. The app had been initially been approved on May 7, but Apple suddenly rescinded its approval. The company cited “business conflicts” in its rejection and Valve’s appeals have so far been unsuccessful.

The news comes as disappointment to many gamers and to Valve, which says it “spent many hours on this project and the approval process.” 

The exact reason for the rejection of the hotly anticipated app is unclear. In its statement, Valve hints that the rejection may be due to Apple’s objections over how the app bypasses its own App Store.

Valve argued that “the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store,” but Apple was unconvinced. 

We’ve reached out to both companies for more info and will update if we hear back. 

But even though Steam Link functions similarly to a remote desktop app, there are other differences that could raise Apple’s scrutiny. 

Apple’s “walled garden” has traditionally prevented availability of third-party stores, for one. Allowing games that could be downloaded independently of its App Store could set a troubling precedent for Apple, which wants to tightly control all the content on its platform. There’s also the fact that Steam Link’s setup ensures Apple wouldn’t be able to take a cut of any of Valve’s revenue, which likely didn’t sit well either.

That’s little consolation to Valve or its fans who were hoping to be able to get access to the app, which was slated to launch this week. (A beta version is available for Android.)

Valve is apparently not giving up hope on the project entirely, in its statement the company said “we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”

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