Valve Removes Game Purchasing Option From Steam Link in Hopes of App Store Approval

A few weeks after Apple rejected Valve's planned Steam Link app due to App Store review guideline violations related to in-app purchases, among other things, the company has made a key change to the app in hopes of getting it approved.


Namely, in the latest beta version of Steam Link on TestFlight, Valve has removed the option to purchase games within the app. Instead, the app now informs users that games are available to purchase on a PC, or Mac, according to Eli Hodapp, editor-in-chief of MacRumors sister website TouchArcade.

Moments ago, Valve pushed out an updated version of the Steam Link app to TestFlight testers which […] removed the ability to buy anything through the actual app itself. When you connect to your PC via the Steam Link app and browse the store, the button you used to be able to push to buy things has been changed to say "Available to purchase from your PC."

Shortly after Steam Link was rejected, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller explained that it had "discussed these issues with Valve" and would "continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and Apple TV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines," in an email shared by MacStories.

Steam Link app now says games are available to purchase on PC

Steam Link, unveiled early last month, will allow users to stream Steam games to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV from a Mac or PC via a 5GHz Wi-Fi network or a wired Ethernet connection. The app, originally set to launch May 21, will include support for both the Steam Controller and Made for iPhone controllers.

In his hands-on last month, Hodapp said the app works so well that "it feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all."

If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.

Valve hasn't specified when it will resubmit Steam Link to Apple for reconsideration, and it remains to be seen if the change will satisfy Apple's guidelines, but it sounds like the app is one step closer to being released on the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
30 months ago
Like it or not, Apple has been pretty clear about linking to non-apple-store purchases from inside an app. It's likely Valve knew better, but wanted to see if they could sneak it in.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago

Like it or not, Apple has been pretty clear about linking to non-apple-store purchases from inside an app. It's likely Valve knew better, but wanted to see if they could sneak it in.

But is there any logical reason for this?

You can have text telling users to go to your webstore.
You can have a link that goes anywhere except to your webstore.
You can have a button that initiates an In-App Purchase.

Why not just allow a link that goes to your webstore?

I'd try pushing further it further to see how absurd Apple will get with their rules, or if Apple will finally acknowledge how arbitrary and ridiculous the rules are. Have a button that copies a URL to your clipboard then opens up Safari to a page that tells you to tap on the address bar and hit the "paste and go" button.

You're not linking to your webstore. You're just seeking the most seamless purchasing experience for your user possible, without forcing them to use Apple's payment system, and without breaking Apple's dumb rules.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago
This whole thing is a little surreal. I remember the federal case made out of Microsoft pre-installing Internet Explorer and not offering their competitors free internet browsers on their OS. The idea of the biggest computer company in the world selling billions of computers inviting everyone to write apps for them, but then specifically not allowing their competitors sell their games on it... how is this not a giant antitrust goldmine? But then maybe at this stage we're just past all notions of that. Amazon can sell Kindles where the only way to buy books is through them, your ISP can buy movie studios and decide the only way you can watch movies is if you watch their content and advertising. Everyones local news can be owned by a single political extremist filling it with his ideological propaganda. And on and on it goes. If the people allow it, they will have it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago
If you want to buy steam games you can just use.. the other steam iOS app. I buy a lot in that already. I’m.. Not sure how this is going to work out. I hope apple let it through anyway.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago

This whole thing is a little surreal. I remember the federal case made out of Microsoft pre-installing Internet Explorer and not offering their competitors free internet browsers on their OS. The idea of the biggest computer company in the world selling billions of computers inviting everyone to write apps for them, but then specifically not allowing their competitors sell their games on it... how is this not a giant antitrust goldmine? But then maybe at this stage we're just past all notions of that. Amazon can sell Kindles where the only way to buy books is through them, your ISP can buy movie studios and decide the only way you can watch movies is if you watch their content and advertising. Everyones local news can be owned by a single political extremist filling it with his ideological propaganda. And on and on it goes. If the people allow it, they will have it.

I don't know who's the biggest anti-consumer company right now when it comes to games. Apple or Sony.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
30 months ago

I would say Apple is more limited, but it when it comes to games, Sony tends to have a lot more exclusive titles, which may or may not be a benefit to the gamer. But I also like a lot of Sony’s exclusive titles that they offer.

Sony prohibits multiplayer with other consoles. There is no technical reason to do that and some games actually had cross-console multiplayer enabled "by accident" before it got blocked: it's entirely an anti-competitive measure.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....