The app is 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. Users must have an MFI (made for iPhone/iPad) or Steam controller connected to their device to play games.
For Apple users, Steam Link requires an iPhone or iPad using iOS 10 or higher. Games can also be streamed on Apple TV.
While it released in 2018 on Android without a hitch, Apple rejected the app, citing “business conflicts with app guidelines”. Steam Link had initially been approved but these issues were said to have “not been realised by the original review team”.
Valve appealed the decision at the time, saying it only functions as a LAN-based remote desktop “similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store”, but Apple rejected these claims.
By June 2018, Valve had removed games purchasing completely from Steam Link on iOS. A year on, the app has finally been launched on the App Store.
News of Steam Link's launch comes as the US Surpeme Court ruled it would allow an antitrust lawsuit against Apple to proceed.
The lawsuit, known as ‘Apple versus Pepper’, claims that with no direct competition within the iOS ecosystem, Apple can charge higher-than-competitive prices. It currently takes a 30 per cent cut of sales on the App Store, which the lawsuit claims is passed on to consumers by developers, amongst other fees.