Valve Steam Link Lands On iOS A Year After Apple’s Rebuffing

Steam Link iOS
Will Kyrie Irving re-sign with the Boston Celtics? Is there a chance Rob Gronkowski comes out of retirement and helps the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl? Will Valve's Steam Link app return to Apple's App Store? Those are all pressing questions, especially for any geek who might reside or have been raised in the Boston area, and the answer to at least one of them is a resounding Yes!

I am, of course, referring to the Steam Link app, though I'd be tickled pink if all three came to fruition. As it pertains to the Steam Link app, Valve initially released an official version for iOS devices last year, only for Apple to block it due to "business conflicts with app guidelines."

Valve appealed the decision, and not long after, Apple revised its App Store rules, giving Valve hope that Steam Link might once again be made available to iOS users. What it ultimately boiled down to was in-app purchases, a feature Valve had toyed with removing in order to get Steam Link on iOS. That took place last June.

After that, we did not hear too much more regarding Valve's attempt to reintroduce the Steam Link app to iOS users, until now. Following a yearlong hiatus, it is finally back.
"The Steam Link app allows gamers to experience their STeam library of games on Apple (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) devices while connected via 5GHz network or wired Ethernet to a host computer running Steam. The Steam Link app features support for the Steam Controller, MFI controllers, and more," Valve said in a statement to CNBC.

As you might have guessed, the version available to iOS users does not support in-app purchases. That was really the sticking point from the beginning—Apple wasn't keen on Valve bypassing its 30 percent royalty rate, and Valve saw reason to fork over that kind of money to Apple. So, unlike the version of Steam Link that is available to Android users, the feature is simply missing.

This is far from the first tiff Apple has had with developers over in-app purchases. Spotify filed a complaint with the European Union due in part to Apple taking a cut of subscriber revenue, and the EU has since opened an antitrust investigation. It will be interesting to see how that turns out, and whether it has any impact on Valve.