Apple's Phil Schiller confirms Steam Link iOS app failed to meet App Store guidelines

Posted:
in iOS
Apple's decision to prevent Valve's Steam Link iOS app from appearing in the App Store was due to a variety of issues, including in-app purchases, Apple's Phil Schiller has confirmed.

Steam Link iOS iPad


In an email sent to multiple customers and surfacing on Reddit, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller game more detail about the issues the Steam Link app had when it was submitted to review. While not directly mentioning specific rules being broken, Schiller did hint that the Steam storefront and connected functions are the problem areas.

"Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc," writes Schiller, in the email posted to Reddit. "We've discussed these issues with Valve and will 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."

Schiller's comments provide more information than Valve's initial statement once news broke of the app's rejection. Valve advised the app was initially approved by Apple on May 7, but it was revoked three days later, citing "business conflicts with app guidelines" that were not recognized by the original team.

Steam Link allows users to play games hosted on their Mac or PC on their iPad, by streaming a live video feed of gameplay over a local network to the app, while user commands are sent back to the host. Effectively an extension of the platform's In-Home Streaming service, the app was produced to work with iOS devices as well as the Apple TV, when used with a Steam Controller or a number of MFI controllers available on the market.

Further testing of the beta app by AppleInsider revealed the app did block direct attempts to purchase items from the Steam marketplace, but a few ways were found to be able to make Steam store purchases using the app, by manipulating the Mac or PC version of Steam over the stream.

It is unclear if the version of the Steam Link app provided to AppleInsider was the same as the app provided for review by Apple.

Schiller's comments suggests that it is more than simply blocking players from buying games, suggesting Valve also needs to restrict the ability to buy in-game items or user-generated mods. The App Store also has rules regarding user-generated content, including a method for filtering objectionable material, reporting offensive content, and the ability to block abusive users.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    dipdog3dipdog3 Posts: 71member
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?
    williamlondonnetmage
  • Reply 2 of 37
    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 3,723member
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously? You don’t understand the difference?
    bshankwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 37
    andrewj5790andrewj5790 Posts: 222member
    Glad they’re not bending the rules for an important developer. Also glad they’re working with them to hopefully correct the issues.
    racerhomie3williamlondonanton zuykovlkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 37
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,776member
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    racerhomie3pscooter63williamlondonjkichlineSpamSandwich
  • Reply 5 of 37
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,222member
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.
    williamlondonlkrupp[Deleted User]
  • Reply 6 of 37
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Exactly. They knew that they were cheating, but they did it anyway. No surprise that the app got booted.

    Apple curates the hell out of these apps. Nobody curates nearly as good as Anple. Google is a joke.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,222member
    nunzy said:
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Exactly. They knew that they were cheating, but they did it anyway. No surprise that the app got booted.

    Apple curates the hell out of these apps. Nobody curates nearly as good as Anple. Google is a joke.
    So how was this app approved in the first place? App reviewers at Apple are morons?
    williamlondonnunzylkrupp[Deleted User]
  • Reply 8 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,171member
    nunzy said:
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Exactly. They knew that they were cheating, but they did it anyway. No surprise that the app got booted.

    Apple curates the hell out of these apps. Nobody curates nearly as good as Anple. Google is a joke.
    So how was this app approved in the first place? App reviewers at Apple are morons?
    Since we don’t know the precise details then we can’t know for sure. My guess is that the Steam app has some sort of link that opens a page to their own App Store that the original reviewers didn’t spot, but the second review did. Schiller’s response also indicates that there were several problems with the app, not just one. 

    I also find the Steam’s attempt to galvanise its customer base into attacking Apple a little bit hypocritical, given how the Steam itself is under fire for pulling adult content that they’ve been happy to make money from up until a fortnight ago. 

    https://www.pcgamer.com/valve-appears-to-be-cracking-down-on-sexual-content-in-some-steam-games/


    williamlondonnunzyStrangeDays
  • Reply 9 of 37
    croprcropr Posts: 833member
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Owing an app development company, I can only say that some rules are  interpreted differently by different approvers, so an app developer can never be 100% sure of what is allowed or not.  One of my approved apps, which was already 4 months in the App store, was rejected after a simple bug fix.
    willcropointmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonnetmageuraharabb-15bb-15[Deleted User]
  • Reply 10 of 37
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.

    You have no proof whatsoever that “this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership”. Having someone like Schiller comment is not proof. It’s more likely he only commented because this became news (after Steam whined about it) and Schiller had nothing to do with the App approval process.
    williamlondonStrangeDaysnetmageuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 37
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,222member
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.

    You have no proof whatsoever that “this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership”. Having someone like Schiller comment is not proof. It’s more likely he only commented because this became news (after Steam whined about it) and Schiller had nothing to do with the App approval process.
    No reason for someone as high up as Schiller to comment/respond if it was just a normal rejection by some low level employee in app review. A response, if any, would have come from some unnamed person in the press office.
    williamlondonbb-15
  • Reply 12 of 37
    flydogflydog Posts: 100member
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?
    Is this a serious question?
  • Reply 13 of 37
    flydogflydog Posts: 100member

    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.

    You have no proof whatsoever that “this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership”. Having someone like Schiller comment is not proof. It’s more likely he only commented because this became news (after Steam whined about it) and Schiller had nothing to do with the App approval process.
    Of course Schiller had nothing to do with the initial app approval process.  No one has said that he did.  Did you expect the actual employee who conducted the app review to issue a press release? 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 37
    CobraGuyCobraGuy Posts: 76member
    Ridiculous IMO.

    Not backing Apple on this one.
    williamlondonnetmage[Deleted User]
  • Reply 15 of 37
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 896member
    Interesting user generated content is the first one quoted by Apple but hasn’t gotten any attention as part of the problem till then. 

    Given steam less anyone upload  unrelated images an associate then with games of any age rating this could be a big issue. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 37
    I have a hard time understanding why people would be so convinced that Valve couldn't make mistakes per the guidelines. That's the most likely explanation, really.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.

    You have no proof whatsoever that “this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership”. Having someone like Schiller comment is not proof. It’s more likely he only commented because this became news (after Steam whined about it) and Schiller had nothing to do with the App approval process.
    No reason for someone as high up as Schiller to comment/respond if it was just a normal rejection by some low level employee in app review. A response, if any, would have come from some unnamed person in the press office.
    Pure conjecture. It’s fine to believe that, but don’t pretend you know it thusly as fact. You do not and it is not. 
    edited May 27 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 37
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 5,587member

    flydog said:

    We don’t know what really happened. We have Apple’s words against Valve’s. But what we do know (and what I suspected all along) is this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership.

    You have no proof whatsoever that “this went to the highest levels of Apple leadership”. Having someone like Schiller comment is not proof. It’s more likely he only commented because this became news (after Steam whined about it) and Schiller had nothing to do with the App approval process.
    Of course Schiller had nothing to do with the initial app approval process.  No one has said that he did.  Did you expect the actual employee who conducted the app review to issue a press release? 
    Rogifan’s claim is the decision itself to reject the app was executed at the highest level of Apple corporate leadership, not the just the matter of who explains it. We know Schiller is explaining it, but no one outside of Apple knows where the decision was made. That’s Eric’s point. 

    Seems nuance is lost on many. 
    williamlondonnetmagesingularitywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 37
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 112member
    nunzy said:
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Exactly. They knew that they were cheating, but they did it anyway. No surprise that the app got booted.

    Apple curates the hell out of these apps. Nobody curates nearly as good as Anple. Google is a joke.
    What has this to do with Google?
  • Reply 19 of 37
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 112member
    cropr said:
    mjtomlin said:
    dipdog3 said:
    Many VNC apps stream live video and send back commands. You could buy the Golden Gate Bridge using a VNC App without giving Apple a cut. How is this any different?

    Seriously!?

    If I were Apple I would start revoking developer accounts for developers who promise things they clearly know is against the rules. Sorry, but ANY developer who’s serious about developing for iOS WOULD HAVE READ the contract and UNDERSTOOD what is or isn’t possible. And getting your fan base worked up in a tizzy should be an immediate cancellation of your developer account.

    The guidelines have been in place since day one, in fact they’ve become more relaxed since then. There’s no reason ANY developer should attempt to step beyond those rules and hope for the best. Unless they think they can rally their fan base and try to force it. As I said, in that case, cancel their developer account. 
    Owing an app development company, I can only say that some rules are  interpreted differently by different approvers, so an app developer can never be 100% sure of what is allowed or not.  One of my approved apps, which was already 4 months in the App store, was rejected after a simple bug fix.
    Absolutely true, this is a frustrating part of the process. But to be fair, Apple has streamlined this a lot (but still gets it wrong from time to time) and Google have also revoked one of our apps after very minor updates.
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