PC gamers around the world were shocked today to hear that Valveís new Steam Link app was rejected by Apple and will not be appearing on the App Store anytime soon. Oh, the horror! Steam Link is an app that allows users to store their Steam games and stream them to those devices or others in the nearby vicinity without having to download or install them onto those consoles. Itís kind of a big deal for the gaming industry because Steam currently dominates the gaming market for PCs; if youíre a PC gamer, all of your games are played through the Steam client.
Streaming has been all the rage as of recent and encompasses movies through Netflix, music through Spotify, and is steadily evolving towards gaming. Everything has gone virtual. Having access to files and not having to move or store them constantly is something that has redefined the technical world and allows convenience and ease of access. The Steam Link app however, is available on Android devices as of now (perhaps another reason not to get an iPhone if youíre a gamer). Apple cites that the app breaks their terms of service somewhere in the fine print, yet the running rumor is that they might also be developing their own app and donít want the competition. Other companies like EA and Sony already have similar apps in the works.
Another reason is that the app would potentially circumvent the opportunity for Apple to make profit, as Steam games would be downloaded directly from the userís device or computer and not through the app store, where Apple takes a whopping 30% of revenues. This loop hole would mean that these profits go directly to Valve instead of Apple, the latter of which made nearly half of their entire App Store revenue from games in 2017. Either way, avid gamers and current owners of Apple products might want to pick up a burner phone if they want to access their Steam library on the go.