Apple has blocked the release of Valve's new Steam Link app on its App Store citing "business conflicts".
The app was due to be released this week on iOS and in beta form on Android. It was designed to let users play their Steam games on their mobile devices, with content streamed from a nearby host system such as a PC or Mac.
But Apple has suddenly put the breaks on those plans for iOS, despite previously approving its launch.
In a statement, as reported by Steam Database, Valve said Apple had “revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realised by the original review team”.
Valve appealed that decision by claiming that Steam Link only functions as a LAN-based remote desktop “similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store”. This appeal was denied however.
“The team spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we’re clearly disappointed,” continued the statement.
“But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future.”
For obvious reasons Apple is reticent to greenlight apps that may circumvent its own App Store and ultimately hit its revenue streams.
Most recently Facebook introduced in-app purchases to Instant Games through its Facebook Messenger app.
While Google Play allows Facebook to take its own 30 per cent cut on IAPs (following Google's own 30 per cent cut, resulting in a 49 per cent share of IAP revenue for developers), there has been no mention of IAPs on iOS devices.
Facebook has simply said it is “exploring monetisation options on other platforms”.
It’s not clear whether IAPs will ultimately come to Messenger on iOS, but it’s a another sign that Apple is very protective of its platform and has an unwillingness to open up to other big games companies it may consider a rival.