Apple has blocked Valve Software, operator of the popular Steam PC games portal, from releasing its free Steam Link app in the Apple app store, according to Valve, which revealed the news today
The Steam Link would have enabled PC games to be streamed to, and played on, the Apple iPhone. The company has also made a version of the Steam Link for Android devices, which is already available from the Google Play store.
In order to play PC games from the user's Steam account, they only need a paired Bluetooth controller or Steam Controller and to connect the smartphone to the PC via the local network, such as the wireless router at home.
Steam is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and is the most popular digital distribution platform for PC games for standard desktop and laptop PCs.
Reuters suggested that Apple was keen to protect its turf and the 30 per cent cut it takes from sales in its ‘walled garden' App Store - both sales of apps themselves, and in-app purchases - with the Steam Link app having the potential to cut Apple out of the revenue loop.
In a statement to Reuters, Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi said: "The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future."
Apple, meanwhile, has yet to answer requests for comment, but Valve claims that Apple cited "business conflicts with app guidelines" as the reason for the rejection.
It is believed that those conflicts centre around Steam on iPhone effectively being an app store within an app store, which might undermine Apple's own app store model, which generated $9.1 billion in 'services revenues' in the company's most recent quarter.
The vertically integrated mobile app store model is reminiscent of the 'walled gardens' provided by online services in the 1980s and 1990s, such as AOL and Compuserve, which were blown apart by the greater choice and availability of the open internet.
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