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

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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.

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

kemal

macrumors 68000
Dec 21, 2001
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Steam users may .... just may still be able to figure out how to purchase software. But this is then a tool to view content not purchased on either App Store. I bet it gets denied.
 

Appleaker

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Jun 13, 2016
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‘In hoped of’....
No, that was the only issue and following cooperation with Apple, they worked to remove it.

And that ridiculously disconnected quote about people buying from Steam alone is absurd, it’s hard to understand why you would quote such unrealistic nonsense (not to say it wouldn’t happen, but it would be a very niche scenario in the grand scheme of things.
 
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tha_man

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Apr 4, 2016
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Steam users may .... just may still be able to figure out how to purchase software. But this is then a tool to view content not purchased on either App Store. I bet it gets denied.
So is every other remote desktop app. Or a browser, when surfing paysites. In a way even Bootcamp. It's understandable Apple didn't allow third party appstore inside an app, but that would be IMO very stupid reason to deny it.
 
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ThunderSkunk

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Dec 31, 2007
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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.
 

jclardy

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Oct 6, 2008
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Steam users may .... just may still be able to figure out how to purchase software. But this is then a tool to view content not purchased on either App Store. I bet it gets denied.
But Netflix/Amazon/Google Play/Vudu are all apps that play content that you don't purchase from Apple. I'm pretty sure Apple will have to approve this, unless they object to something like the controller support (I think they support non-MFI controllers somehow.)
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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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.
 
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mrothroc

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2012
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San Francisco, CA, USA
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 difference is pretty substantial. At the time, MS owned over 80% of the market for operating systems (they still do, in fact). They started giving away IE for free, pre-installed. PC manufacturers were required to bundle a Windows license into every purchase, whether the buyer wanted it or not. This looks a lot like a monopoly.

iPhones, by contrast, have about 15% of the global market. It's hard to argue that a company who has the #2 position in market share is a monopoly. Competition in the mobile phone space is fierce, and consumers have plenty of options.
 
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Dethklok

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2008
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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.
 

bsolar

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Jun 20, 2011
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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.
This case is a little more borderline though IMHO since the purchase is actually for software which runs on a Mac or PC, not on the iOS device itself. The iOS device alone is not even able to run the purchased software, the app is basically a glorified remote desktop application.
 
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dontwalkhand

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Jul 5, 2007
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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.
I buy bus/train passes inside of an app, it doesn’t look like Apple is getting a cut of these. It uses stored credit cards rather than Apple Pay.

Uber and Lyft are also inside of an app.

I don’t see how this is any different.
 

ThisIsNotMe

Suspended
Aug 11, 2008
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I buy bus/train passes inside of an app, it doesn’t look like Apple is getting a cut of these. It uses stored credit cards rather than Apple Pay.

Uber and Lyft are also inside of an app.

I don’t see how this is any different.
The 30% fee applies only to content and features that are delivered as an in-app purchase
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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I don't know who's the biggest anti-consumer company right now when it comes to games. Apple or Sony.
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.
 

macduke

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Jun 27, 2007
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Hopefully it gets approved now. I highly doubt Valve would ever approve of an app on Steam that allows you to buy games from a competing store.
 

Khedron

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Sep 27, 2013
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Apple should instantly reject Steam after their recent press release where they actively refuse to deal with offensive content since it means they will inevitably be in violation of Apple's standards.

Would Apple allow racist/homophobic content on the App Store? If not why should they allow Steam to advertise that content via the App Store?
 

acorntoy

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2010
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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.
Apple made it clear with Amazon despite their protest. Not sure of any online company would have more clout than them in that field.
 

bsolar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
847
450
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.
 
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