Epic's Apple lawsuit could have "significant and serious ramifications" for platform holders like Nintendo, a judge has warned.
After its battle royale juggernaut Fortnite was removed from the App Store in August for violating terms and conditions, Epic called out Apple for taking 30% of the cut from developers and declared war.
However, according to the latest court documents, published on Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers notes how it's not all that distinct from console platforms that charge developers the same 30% fee.
"Indeed, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all operate similar walled gardens or closed platform models as Apple, whereby the hardware, operating system, digital marketplace, and IAPs are all exclusive to the platform owner"
Judge Rogers also mentioned how the Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops and tablets could have a "significant overlap" with the iOS platform due to their portable design.
“a final decision should be better informed regarding the impact of the walled garden model given the potential for significant and serious ramifications for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and their video game platforms.”
Epic's case against Apple could go to jury trial as early as July next year. We will be sure to keep you up to date as it unfolds.
Just remove Fortnite from all platforms.
I don't see any way Epic Games wins this battle. If you're using someone's operating system to deliver games to the consumer, it's only natural they're asking a percentage of the profits. I agree 30% is way too much though. 10-15% would be more fair.
I don't like Apple but I hope this all blows up in Epic's face.
Apple are not totally blameless here, they have lots of other micro transaction heavy games on their platform, it just seems they have singled out a very popular one.
@johnvboy Hold up there, Epic started this whole kerfuffle by taking payments outside of the App-store, circumventing Apple, and i'm pretty sure that in the agreement Epic signed to get Fortnite on there, they have a clause calling that sort of thing "Bad form"
The other IAP-heavy (very IAP-heavy) games play by the rules, so they're not called out.
@BenAV Epic create content, Apple don't. As a gamer, supporting Apple is nonsense. Content creators should have as much right as possible on their creation over big wallet companies. And Nintendo is one of the most respectful company over creator's rights.
@RasandeRose yeah, because there aren't enough server-crutched freemiums dropping dead with few prospects of tape circulation as it is. Fortnite will most likely follow suit someday as well, but there's no point in or excuse to wishing it sooner.
@glaemay Apple doesn't create content? Really? Really?!!!
Apple creates the platform, the tools and the hardware that allows Epic to exist on that market.
Without Apple there wouldn't be an Epic.
To develop on an Apple device you need to be a part of the Developer program. This program costs $ 99 / year and members are bound by a NDA agreement. This agreement states what you can and can't do with an app you release onto the Apple platform. For that price you get access to beta software of iOS, iPad OS and macOS, you get access to iTunes Connect, you can create digital signatures for app distribution and testing, when you submit an app for review Apple will test your app and give you their response. If all is okay, you are allowed to publish your app to the App Store.
With this, Apple will host your software on their servers. They will also list it on their store. If you have iAP purchases or a paid App, they will also pay you your earnings. They will also handle all transactions. And for this, they ask an industry standard (ALL other App Stores (except the Epic Game Store) ask the same price) 30% fee.
If they had to take away that 30% fee, I'd think that 99 year price would go up to 1000 / year. Which would hurt small developers.
I think the biggest thing here is iOS devices are meant to be full blown computers where comedies are very specific gaming devices so I think that line should be understood. However, if it forced consoles to allow third party software on them I'd be totally down with that if I'm being honest. I bet much doubt anyone is going too make a third party app store on the Switch except maybe a homebrew store.
@Rexenoboy Apple made 360 milllion over the time Fortnite was on the store, if I was Epic I would pissed to be left with a measly 840 million as well.
@sanderev there definitely would. It's just that Apple creates a hardware environment - one of a good few, no monopoly - that Epic feels sufficiently compelled to be present in. No matter how draconian the fees are, when a publisher arrives to pay them, you'll be excused for assuming they already account for it and view the environment's userbase as a source of viable profit in spite of the fees. Which is why the subject of Epic's claims here sounds kinda post-factumish (unless I'm unaware of them having got on board before a significant fee raise on Apple's side).
WOW that went from 0 to 100.
I just can’t bring myself to support either party in this feud. Unless you are really invested in lining Tim Sweeney’s pockets further. Any year this would be a dumb cause to support, but in 2020? Both companies can go to that place below with the fire and horned creatures.
@johnvboy Apple never singled anyone out. Epic started advertising V-bucks with a discount if purchased directly on the Epic website to avoid paying a 30% fee to Apple. So they got banned since they broke their contract with Apple. Same thing happened on Google Play.
In the end Epic just wants a bigger slice of the pie. They want all the benefits of a platform, but they don't want to pay for it. They want access to Apple's userbase, they want Apple to host the games on their service and stores, they want access to their development kits; and then they try to circumvent their payment system by offering users to buy MTX outside of the Apple Store.
That's not how it works. You can argue for a better deal, but argue with Apple, don't use the gaming community as your patrons to fight a war; a war between two conglomerates that don't care about you, the end user, at all. I'm not a fan of Apple, but I don't see how they are in the wrong here.
@johnvboy They didn’t single out Epic. Epic wrote them a letter confirming their intention to breach their terms of service.
@Octane Indeed. They act like a "small developer vs the big bad Apple". But Epic is partly owned by Tencent, one of the biggest tech companies in China. Epic is anything but "a small developer". And I think this is Tencent's way to fight Trump's ban on WeChat.
I been saying this since the start of this whole ordeal: There is no way Epic wins against Apple without completely destroying the business model all consoles need to exist at all.
If they win, the days of console gaming are numbered.
@Octane prity mutch what iv been trying to say to some ppl ik who don't get it... like Epic clames its a "Walled Garden" .. yes... its there platform and there store? Your point being.. what exactly? I'm prity sure Epic would be pissed if say Nintendo as a example went onto the EPIC store and payed f all to them...
@Tharsman...in the US. The rest of the world does not care.
@sanderev I'm not sure about that, that's a bit of a stretch. When money is involved, the reason doesn't need to be that complicated..!
@Volmun The irony is that they pay publishers for exclusivity on the Epic Store, and now they're complaining about "walled gardens".
I wonder which is more valuable to Apple the US market on micro transactions. I suspect it’s micro transactions and so if epic wins the result will be Apple and other platform holders affected pulling out of the US. US enthusiasts will probably just import from Canada and Mexico instead if that happens.
Epic wanted to be on the Apple store, so they entered into a contract with Apple, which featured terms and conditions which were stated and understood in advance. Now Epic wishes to remain on the Apple store, whilst breaching the terms of the contract. Now Apple is saying "No... if you wish to use our services, you have to abide by our rules." Epic basically signed the contract, agreed to the conditions, and then disagreed afterwards. It doesn't work like that. If you sign a contract, you're agreeing to it, and are also agreeing to abide by it.
Like Nintendo will give a ...
4,2 billions/year in revenue for free to play and for 700 employees. I will not support this toxic system I will never care about billionaires fighting each other over even a larger piece of cake.
@MysticX @johnvboy yeah... If anything, the "popular one" being singled out here is Apple.
@Octane haha yep... not only that though there's been sevral cases where thay have (more or less) bullied Indi devs into being exclucive to there Store front cant recall the games/devs inpaticular atm but still THATS a shady busness strategy..
Hang on, I never stated Epic were blameless in all this, just pointed out that Apple have some dodgy practices too.
I desparately want Epic to win this case. I live for the day when I don't have to hack my switch to run emulators on it, and Epic winning is the only way that I could see that happening.
Looks like that's the end of games consoles then! It was nice while it lasted :/
@Octane I agree that it's a stretch. However, I just connected a few dots I saw.
1. Tencent is going to lose a lot of money if Trump actually bans WeChat.
2. Apple is a very American company, with an easy to violate policy.
3. Fortnite is really big in the US.
4. Tencent owns Fortnite.
@Friscobay Epic winning would most likely mean that Nintendo would be forced to open the Switch up to non-approved devs, allowing emulators to be ran on non-hacked Switches.
@alexybubble And the only option is to give even more money to 4,2 billion dollars company employing 700 people ?
@Friscobay I don't care about Epic or Apple or how much money goes to whomever. I only care about the ramifications towards Nintendo.
@sanderev Well, Tencent doesn't "own" Epic or Fortnite (yet). I think there are way more effective ways to oppose a potential WeChat ban; various sanctions are plausible for example. Taking Apple to court over a potential increased royalty share doesn't really make sense IMO. I wouldn't read too much into that. Things can happen without China's involvement
They are right tho. The same stuff happened with Microsoft and Internet Explorer.
I don’t care about Epic’s Fornite or their other games but for the sake of online stores I hope they win. 30% tax going to Google, Sony, Nintendo, Steam, Apple etc. is too high.
Epic are acting like greedy fools here imo.
An online digital storefront in an ecosystem is going to cost you money to sell in same as if I hire a building to open a shop to sell products in. It’s the price you pay to reach billions of customers in an instant. Epic knew the t&c’s when they signed up years ago. Why’s it an issue all of a sudden now?
They acted like spoilt kids when they bypassed Apple and Google’s pay terms and now feel butthurt as they’re games no longer on sale. They can only blame themselves.
If they hadn’t done that they would still be gaining 70% of revenue. Surely that’s better than 0% they’re now getting! Their greed has cost them big time which is ironic in itself.
@BrintaPap Apple could get out of this by allowing people to directly install .ipa files on their devices, so devs don't have to use the Apple Store.
Apple would disable it by default and hide the option behind a couple of scary warnings, and they'd be good. Or do like Android and make you skim blindly through your settings to find where they've hidden the option to install .apk from the web in this version.
Because that is what happened with Microsoft and IE, nothing else. My point being, Epic will lose this one because they're greedy *****, but yes, a case can be made against Apple and their monopoly on apps.
@johnvboy Apple/google haven’t “singled out” anyone. This was epic that started this by circumventing their terms and conditions to which epic had previously agreed.
@Switcheroot the same case can be made against Sony, Xbox store, Nintendo’s online gamestore etc because they have a monopoly over there. Physical? Yeah you can buy them at many different stores (whether it’s online or in the shop itself).
1. Apple/Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo/do have a monopoly on the iOS/Playstation/Xbox/Switch platform, the AppStore/PS store/Xbox game Store/eShop is the only allowed store.
2. With their own games/services they have a huge advantage over other game publishers.
Yeah I like Nintendo and Apple and other brands and stuff but that does not mean that everything they do is good for the consumer.
Heck even Microsoft along with Spotify made up a coalition to fight against Apple!
But here is kicker Microsoft did that but they have not done it for Xbox!! That’s how hypocrite this is.
My local Walmart has a monopoly because they won't let me set up a stall inside.
@okeribok WOW. You really don't know how the world works, do you? Yikes. Enjoy your fantasy.
If Microsoft is already getting involved and taking Epic's side in this lawsuit, I think it's safe to say that Nintendo (and Sony) would probably not join into this.
The judge's comparison of mobile to console may very well just be a way of shooting down one of Epic's argument points against Apple (and Google).
That being said, it's probably safe to say that because Fortnite is still available on consoles, Nintendo and Sony aren't too concerned on that field.
Epic forgets that their 30% effectively pays for hosting, dev access, development and security of API’s, financing, the testing process (that might highlight bugs the devs missed) and the review process. As well as this if your app is a success your effectively getting a ton of advertising from the App Store in the process. There is also the servers and wages of App Store employees to factor in as well.
Epic wanted all of the benefits but weren’t willing to pay for it.
Epic does have a slight chance against Apple but not against Google. With Android they can just offer people to download the .apk file outside of the PlayStore and done. At most they could argue that Android branding apps outside the PlayStore as "unsafe" is not fair for 3rd party apps.
It's true that some practises Apple has are questionable (why is apps like XCloud not allowed on the iOS AppStore for example?). And you could argue cuts for the platform holders are kinda high (and not only with Apple).
But saying that Apple should allow Fornite to appear in their AppStore and have access to all their tools and audience without a cut does not feel fair either.
@Eel Walmart has competitors. If you don’t like that go to Home Depot or Amazon or Costco or Lowe’s etcetera.
Now on PC where do you game if you want to play a game? Steam, EA Play, GoG, Ubisoft play store, Green man Gaming, Amazon etc.
Now on consoles where do you go for digita games? Digital codes on a giftcard are gone in Europe. So you can’t buy them in (game) stores anymore. You are only left with the eshop and it’s prices.
I don’t see a problem with platform holder lowering the % they take from a digital sale. Or even better a store being opened from a competitor on their online platform.
Here’s an idea: don’t like the App Store rules, fees & policies - don’t make an app!
Microsoft is going this route with XCloud. They don’t like/want to abide by the App Store rules so they will simply let you access XCloud through Safari. No 30% cut needed or App Store guidelines to follow.
Epic (and any other developer) can do the same - but they don’t. And do you know why they don’t?
Because of the value of having your app on the App Store brings - Apple generated $25.5 billion in the last 6 months of 2019 compared to $14.2 billion dollars on the Google Play store and that with less the a 3rd of the amount of downloads as Google Play.
So if you want EASY access to a consumer base that spends & spends a lot: create an app for the App Store, if you prefer not to deal with that & are willing to forgo the $, then the consumer can access via a web browser on their phone & you can keep all the profits.
I think we need to realize being available on iPhone & available in the App Store are two different things and are not mutually exclusive.
@okeribok thats your opinion dude. You're not the representative of the world.
@BrintaPap unless the game you want is a first party or otherwise exclusive to one specific console, you will most likely be able to find it elsewhere.
Perhaps on one of the pc storefronts you mention.
I hate Apple, but honestly, Epic is in the wrong here, and I hope Apple wins this case.
Kudos to Epic for making so many people think, Apple is the bad guy here . Like seriously, they don't even have to justify themselves, people play right into their hands.
@sanderev 👏🏻👏🏻 The only sensible comment on this thread
I think that in arguing the App Store is an effective monopoly Epic will be probably be vindicated. I think it meets that definition by most scores and some of their policies are open to legal query - especially if the App store is seen as a monopoly.
The same is also true of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
However, I think that everyone needs to be realistic about what the outcome is likely to be. @alexybubble talks about the idea that Nintendo (and Apple/Sony/Microsoft) will effectively be forced to allow installation of a "homebrew" channel (so we can all play "legitimate homebrew" - without hacking our consoles). I don't see this as remotely likely.
It isn't a case of the current status quo versus a free for all. If Apple are found to be running a monopoly they could get around this by allowing 2-3 rival stores to open on iOS. They could even have a bidding process for companies who want to operate a store front. Any storefront would itself have to abide by a set of very stringent rules (to prevent outright piracy and criminal use).
The end result would likely be a very slight lowering of fees and a very slight liberalisation of the rules but... most people wouldn't notice a thing and most companies wouldn't benefit at all.
Another thing that could happen (that I expect is more likely to happen, either as an alternative legal compromise to rival stores or possibly alongside them) is that companies like Epic (and Microsoft with GamePass) say that you need to pay a one off fixed cost or a monthly premium on top of your regular subscription to enable the content you pay for elsewhere to be played on iOS. Apple sets a minimum premium, the publisher pays Apple a cut for that premium but Apple loses the rights to claim a full cut for all other micro-transactions/the full value of the subscription.
TLDR? Don't expect any major changes in how things operate in practice.
I was selected a few weeks ago for a jury trial on a assault case that lasted 4 days. As much as I hate jury duty (my 3rd case in 5 calls and I'm 36! So annoying!) I wouldn't mind being selected for this trial. Would be very interesting to see how the attorneys select the jury on this one. Between young people that play Fortnite and older people who's kids that play it too much...would be a challenge to find the juror in each of their favors.
I'm kinda salty that people want Epic to suffer, Fortnite is a very WELL created game with great amounts of content. Sure, they may have been a bit greedy but that goes for both sides.
@Yorumi I hear you bro, but if you think other companies aren't doing the same thing, you're wrong.
@alexybubble you should care about people.
@Rexenoboy MS doesn't take a cut on PC though, and if you self published all the money is yours.
@alexybubble They will never be able to force Nintendo to allow unassigned code to run on their OS as it opens up far too many doors for hackers and other nefarious things to happen to people.
Tell me, how is what Apple is doing any different from what Nintendo, Sony or Xbox is doing on their platforms? Why is it OK for Nintendo to take 30% of sales but not Apple?
Microsoft Windows is an outlier but that doesn't make it the rule. We should be happy Microsoft allows any shop on Windows at all aside from their own Microsoft Store, but we shouldn't take it for granted.
@okeribok the US is basically half the console market. It's not near half the gaming market, but globally that market has a lot more PC/Mobile share.
Its unlikely that Epic will win, but make no mistake, no console will survive if they can't control the distribution and royalties on their closed ecosystems in the US.
Taking a 30% cut from all games and can't improve discoverability on eshop? Do I have that right?
Although, nintendo did take the massive financial risk creating the console - maybe also a fair point?
At first glance, 30% sounds a bit high. Although, I'm not sure what fair is, so I'm not making judgment.
@Yorumi I understand what you're saying but I'm not so sure I agree. Between Apple and Android there is clearly a duopoly but the Google Play store clearly takes its cues very directly from the App store (which is clearly dominant in terms of revenue).
@Rexenoboy I get what you're saying but they're never going to open up the OS to everybody to run unassigned code that just leads way too many people vulnerable to credit card attacks and a plethora of other things. I agree the 30% is really steep and needs to change but you can't take control of their platform fully away from them when they're the ones who created it.
It seems I had your first response to my comment wrong and we're in agreement after all.
I just wanna know why Apple NEED 30% of what completely separate companies make
And why taking less would damage the company
All I know is that all these platform holders really need to stop taking as much as 30% from all the developers out there releasing games on their platforms that are making them frikin' billions. Epic has proven without any shadow of a doubt that 12% is more than enough for any of these companies to still be making billions of profit on top of covering any and all expenses required to run these platforms, and anything more is just abusing the people who actually put all the time and energy and money into making these games only to give a huge chunk of their potential profit from sales to fatten the coffers of these excessively greedy platform holders. Again, an industry standard of the same 12% that Epic currently takes is where we should be at across all these platforms imo. And I think we should all be advocating for this, because if you're advocating for all these companies taking 1/3 of every penny a developer ever makes on their platform, simply for acting as a host digital storefront, then you just don't know what you're talking about and are well and truly on the wrong side of this debate as far as I'm concerned--unless you own shares in one or more of these platform holders.
@LilMuku it's apparently just the standard cut most digital app stores take.
Even nintendo and sony.
@Eel That's gruesome
Microtransactions are how devs make money on free games, how are the bigger companies so out of touch
Not a fan of Apple in the slightest (I find their products to be overhyped and overpriced), but I tilt my head at anyone trying to support Epic. It's a simple case really: Epic wanted to circumvent the Apple TOS so that they kept 100% of the profits while using Apple's platforms. Tim Sweeny isn't doing this for the benefit of the gaming community, he's doing it because he wants to make Epic more cash.
Tim Sweeney is scum because he tries to cover up unethical business practices as a moral cause for the good of the industry. Epic exclusives don't add value to the Epic Store, they DEVALUE other platforms because most of the time they are titles that were going to come to all digital storefronts until Epic through cash their way. Same thing here; Tim Sweeny is basically arguing that he should be able to utilize the ios app freely and not pay Apple anything, and trying to spin that as some sort of white-knight motive. Epic is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
@LilMuku @Eel 30% is what Apple negotiated with the music industry when they were trying to find a legal way to get music onto their iPods. It’s significantly predates iPhones and downloadable games.
Congress’s anti-trust committee also made recommendations that walled garden approaches should be opened up since they can stifle competitors from the platform ... and Europe is potentially going to pass the Digital services Act which would also do the same thing. Honestly, this is going to happen somewhere at sometime, regardless of whether Epic wins its lawsuit. These device companies did it to themselves.
@johnvboy I don't get how someone misunderstands the topic, yet still comments.
How have apple singled epic out?
@Rexenoboy Microsoft was sued in the early 90s for locking competitors out of windows. This really is the same thing.
However the courts are super corporatist now, so I don’t see them making the right choice here.
@RasandeRose and yet if Epic announced switch exclusive Nintendo themed skins you'd be first in line
1. Epic tried to cut Apple completely out of the loop with their new shop option, so that completely negates any mention of 12% when they tried to offer Apple 0.
2. Of course they can decide to take the 12% they’re the underdog in this story. Who would let Epic take 30% of their profits when their install base is minuscule compared to a company like steam? You can’t give a company props for charging less for a lesser product.
It's a bit far in the future for this case to give Nintendo problems, but whenever the others change or evolve their business models, Nintendo eventually has to follow.
If you want to enter the walled garden, you need permission and to follow the rules of the garden. It’s not the same as a monopoly. Each electronic company created, owns, and operates their platform. Apple is completely within their rights to impose rules about payments and to set their own fees. Epic, after exploiting their partnership with PUBG in order to steal the code for their game, is now trying to exploit hardware companies in order to make even more money off of something they stole to begin with.
It seems like this is something of an "industry standard" now, as it sounds like all platform holders charge the same 30% off the top amount for access to their platforms. And whether its too high or too low, its the companies property...so they can charge what they wish for access to it.
I’m gonna have to side with apple on this one. Epic had this all planned out, there’s no way that they could randomly create a video in less than two hours after this all started. Maybe people will stop playing fortnite and play other games lol.
I agree 30% is a little steep but also Apple provides the platform for you to release your software on. Don’t like it? Make your own hardware. Or release it on all platforms and give players incentives to spend on platforms that don’t take such a high percentage. Despite liking and owning Apple products I do agree they’re a little greedy but I’m not invested in either outcome here. I would however like to see game streaming service apps on iOS though. That’s probably Apple’s worst and most outdated App Store policy at the moment.
@Ryall Hot damn, that's disgraceful, especially when artists make nothing on music sales
@alexybubble There’s no law that states a store has to allow any products. Even if Epic wins, you won’t be able to download an emulator
I hope Epic and their titles go up in smoke after this debacle. I tried Fortnite a few times and despised it and its fanbase is even worse.
This whole lawsuit is a riot though; what were those twerps thinking?
That was in august?! No way
In all honesty this is a genuinely fascinating case. This was clearly intentional by Epic, Apple for all intents and purposes has a monopoly on their end due to having multiple devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) but only one place to curate content from, and the long term affects this will have on the gaming industry. And the if 30% now seems high it was because back in the day during cartridge production the console manufacturers covered a lot of the production costs and wanted to regain money if the game didn't sell well cause selling games back then was risky business. The fee was an investment into the game that may or not be returned. Now with microtransactions it's just bonus money to the platform holder since the fear of failure is no longer on them.
I love all the sheep going "Just remove Fortnite, Fortnite bad,"
We get it, you don't like one of the most popular games in the world, you're so special.
"Fortnite is a kid's game" you play Mario and Pokemon, relax Mr. Mature Gamer.
I think they did this to make an example out of Epic, my opinion, if people do not like it, tough.
@ADV making fun of people playing Nintendo games on a Nintendo site lol, and calling people sheep for not liking a game. Maybe your the sheep spending hundreds of dollars on cosmetics for a game.
@johnvboy Apple singled out no one. As the judge noted, everything that has happened has been self inflicted by Epic when they breached their contract. All they have to do is come into compliance with their contract and the game would be restored.
30% is what they agreed to, whether it is fair or not is irrelevant as they willingly signed the contract with those terms. Apple has declined to renegotiate, and honestly it makes little sense to when the other side comes to the table with, “Hey, let us undercut your business model or we will set this bomb off.”
Making fun of people for playing a "kid's game" on a site that talks about kid's games lol.
Who says I play Fortnite? Who says I spend any money on the game, much just hundreds of dollars? Maybe people should just let others enjoy whatever the hell they want and not make fun of others then go play a game about jumping rope.
@johnvboy fair enough, your entitled to a opinion, I guess. 5+5=12 and all that nonsense.
Personally, I think you don't quite understand what has transpired and would recommend re-reading about it.
@Rexenoboy it’s led the operating system but more the eco system with million potential customers.
But hey I could care less if Fortnite gets removed.
I do know what happened, but I still feel Apple are making an example here, and of course Epic are trying to get some millage out of the situation with this putting the game firmly back in the public eye.
And both you and I are good at maths, which makes three of us.
There are no winners with these types of situations, sure Epic have gone back on the contract, but let's be honest here it's a pretty greedy percentage to Apple in the first place, Epic are trying to protest about it in some way.
The Fortnite customers on Apple are the ones I feel sorry for, caught up in the middle of all this, and I am sure this could of all been sorted outside of the courts.
The difference is that you can have multiple game consoles. You can't really walk around with an Android and an iPhone in your pocket and buy your apps wherever is cheapest.
@Highlar Young marklar, your words are wise and true (I think you're right. pardon the south park quote)
Popular doesn't mean good...
@johnvboy there are very few Apple Fortnite customers. Hence why Epic was willing to do this to them. Apple has cultivated a valuable clientele by providing their products and services. Epic, Spotify and the like want access to them without upholding their part of the deal. If 30% was really the issue, then pull your services and abandon the platform. As seen with Windows Mobile, the platform died because there was no apps, but they stay because that is where the money is. No one forces them to support iOS or MacOS, they do it because they know they have paying customers.
The problem is that they want their cake and eat it too.
@Slinkoy1 I hate battle royal games, but he’s not wrong. Acting like you’re mature when playing Nintendo titles aimed at children is pretty funny.
@Rexenoboy do steam pay microsoft money outside of development tools to get it working on windows? I seriously doubt it.
@Trajan I’m not trying to act mature (I’m not even an adult lol) I just found what he said funny.
@Agriculture just get a tablet of the other brand if you want to play the games there.
The best combo would be an android phone and an ipad to complement each other.
No need to carry both everywhere if you're just gonna treat the tablet as a gaming console (which you already leave at home.)
It was never that "great" as it was made out to be anyways.
@Nintendoforlife Wow, it's thinking like this that shows why this issue with all these behemoth corporations ripping ever developer out there off is still a thing that's accepted as perfectly okay and reasonable by most ignoramuses out there
@Eel I don't play any mobile or tablet games (unless you count the Switch as a tablet), but I still think it's a problem that all apps are forced to give 30 % to Apple or Google. Since basically everyone has an iPhone or Android smartphone, it's like those two companies is some sort of world government who takes out a tax on everyone.
@sanderev Tencent don't own Epic or Fortnite, smart. They have 40% of shares, which isn't sufficient to make them a subsidiary. Sweeney is the major shareholder.
Fortnite/Epic games is playing dirty. They are weaponizing children, just like the PREY on children for their profit model.
If you want to sell your product in a store, then you follow that store's rules. It's simple. If you don't agree with those rules, you're welcome to build your own store.
Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have spent literally decades building their consumer base. No one publisher, no matter how big, should be able to twist their arm the way Epic wants to.
@impurekind sorry but @Nintendoforlife is right here. I am sorry your understanding of the world is lacking. Someday though you might understand.
@Nemesis666 Sure.. 40% is a lot more than you think. Tencent has a lot of control over the company. For instance it would be very difficult for Sweeney if they'd sell their share. They put Chinese spyware in the Epic Games Store on Windows, and this is a way for them to get back at Trump.
This is just Epic wanting more money dressing it up as some grand ideal. It's how all stores work including their own Epic Games Store (with their unpopular use of exclusivity for games).
Your game is but up on the store and gets all the benefits of it. Of course you pay a fee otherwise store wouldn't exist they do it on their store too. Epic needs to be slapped
Legal action against this is the height of being a crybaby. If you don't like it, don't use it. Seriously, I have so much entertainment and useful applications available at my fingertips for almost nothing, it's almost like I want to sue to make it more prohibitively expensive.
@impurekind you are right but people here just outright hate Apple and Epic but since Epic does more on the gaming market they hate them even more.
As the game is cross-play couldn't they have gotten around all this by holding a sale on their PC store regularly as this would have circumvented Apple Pay and all platform holders don't have to hold the same sales at the same time? Or is it not that to simple? Or was Epic just trying to prove a point but failed?
I am an Apple fan and that’s largely due to being able to trust the apps in downloading from their store. If paying a bit of a higher premium for apps and stuff is part of the deal of working with Apple, that peace of mind is worth it. If you don’t want to put your game on the App Store, then don’t do it. Don’t sign an agreement to the terms and then decide not to be okay with them all of a sudden. Hoping Epic learns a hard lesson here.
Why the comment section can’t understand the situation here?
Apple is protecting the users from bad viruses and spend countless hours to review every small app that goes in the App Store
This is their business model and their fees are industry standards (physical stores take the same fee as well!)
Epic planed it for a long time (at least 2 years) and waited for the best time to strike, they broke the contract that they signed on willingly without any warning, and knew exactly how would Apple and google will react, released a video that they prepared in advance to attack Apple and tried to make themselves the “heroes” of the story, they hide from the public the real reason they are doing it which is to launch an AppStore of their own on IOS devices that Apple can’t control check the apps there to protect its users or anything from
I find all these people who say “30% is too much” to be hilarious. Doesn’t matter if you are talking Apple & the App Store or the eShop/PSN/XBL/Google Play etc. How do you know its “way too much”? Because developers say so? Show me some financial breakdown to back up your claim. Show me comparative figures to the cost of selling in brick & mortar stores.
I’m not saying 30% is right but I’m not just to agree it’s wrong w/o evidence.
@Yorumi I'm not disagreeing - what Apple has done is incredible from a business perspective. No-one should just be allowed to waltz up and take a cut of that with no risk or investment to themselves.
Anyone who thinks that any legal judgement will lead to a free for all is seriously naive.
I do think that what Apple has constructed is a form monopoly in a legal sense (Android notwithstanding) because they have complete monopolistic control over a vast market and they are exerting their power in that market to control transactions that are beyond their ecosystem.
What they are doing with Epic (and others) is essentially like Tesco (or an equivalent like Wal Mart if you're in the US) buying land, building a town, owning all of the shops in the town and then saying "oh and you can't even bring in food that you've bought from the next town into our town". Eventually courts will rule against them for this. Apple themselves don't try the same thing for applications other than games (you can log into your Office 365 app on iOS for instance but Apple only gets a cut if you actually subscribe or renew through your phone).
As I said though - breaking this down doesn't mean that Apple necessarily lose everything they've built. For instance auctioning off the rights to operate 2-3 legitimate iOS stores would directly earn Apple hundreds of billions of dollars and whilst those new stores would compete with the App store they couldn't be free for all's because they'd have to repay the investment in auctioning for the right to operate their store.
Under such a scenario - fees would probably still stay in the 25-30%, they couldn't go much lower. You might see some heavy investment into exclusive content by store holders though and you might see some more creative pricing models for very particular market niches. Competition would be good thing over all - it just wouldn't solve the problems that some people think it might.
@StuTwo “ Apple themselves don't try the same thing for applications other than games (you can log into your Office 365 app on iOS for instance but Apple only gets a cut if you actually subscribe or renew through your phone).”
Game developers can accept payments outside of iOS. Minecraft or fortnite prepaid cards for example can be applied to an account externally and they virtual currency then used on iOS. The issue specifically is Epic sought to collect payments on iOS without giving Apple a cut. Blizzards another example of a developer that allows external purchases for Hearthstone.
Epic could use the same model Microsoft uses for Office 365, they’ve chosen not to. They’ve insisted they should be able to accept payments via the iOS app, but those payments shouldn’t be via Apple.
@sanderev "If they had to take away that 30% fee, I'd think that 99 year price would go up to 1000 / year. Which would hurt small developers."
Ask developers if they'd rather pay $1,000 a year or 30% of revenue.
Apple's entire business model is "make something shiny and overcharge stupid people you trick into buying it."
@Volmun I'm pretty sure Epic would pay Nintendo money if they were to put their first-party games on their storefront. Champagne would be uncorked and people would be running around in circles screaming with their hands in the air. Then in honor of Jordan Belfort, they would bring out midgets dressed as pikimin and throw them at targets on the wall.
@TDCinFL I make free apps for the App store. I pay 99 / year. If it would become more expensive I would absolutely lose interest in publishing apps on iOS. I don't make any money off of my iOS apps, since they're free without iAPP purchases. And even with iAPP purchases I would rather pay 30% than 1000 dollar. Because there is absolutely no way I would make more than 1000 dollar with iAPP purchases.
And I know a lot of smaller developers don't have that kind of money to be able to develop on the platform.
I'm of two minds here.
I know Apple are in the right on this one, but I also know that Fortnite on mobile is absolute trash.
It's not as if the hardware is made for playing games, it's just really not at all.
I completely agree that Epic should pay to be on the App Store, but 30%? I mean be realistic, nobody is waiting in long ass lines to get their hands on the latest iPhone so they can play video games.
I don't see how Apple can charge that much and Epic not laugh in their faces to begin with, without trying to circumvent their charges in a shady way
In short, it's not worth this much hassle to be on the app store.
Nintendo just released another new Switch console + Fortnite bundle.
I guess they have no problem with 3rd party's selling their DLC / microtrans-items through their owns shops in addition to Nintendo's eShop.
@wolfhammerr I... uhh... i don't know whats worse.. the fact you came up with that idea or that I want to see that happen o__o XD
@SirRandall No, both they and you are wrong. Ignorance is your excuse, but it's not a defense.
@impurekind I would suggest changing your name to inpurekid. You act like a kid when proven wrong and replies with "Nah your wrong". Maybe you should sit this one out and let the adults talk here.
@Rexenoboy If you're using someone's operating system to deliver games to the consumer, it's only natural they're asking a percentage of the profits. I agree 30% is way too much though. 10-15% would be more fair.
Really? So you think Microsoft should charge 15% for software on Windows?
1. Apple has made around 360 million from Fortnite since its addition to the store. Epic has made the remaining 840 million, in what world is that not worth the hassle? If Apple asking for 30% of 1.2 BILLION is worth laughing at then straight up leave the store, instead of trying to circumvent.
2. Fortnite mobile is far from trash, I’ve played on the newest
iPad mini with my Xbox control virtually no different than playing on a switch. In fact I was actually able to run it at 60 FPS over the switches 30.
3. The beauty of Fortnite is its store and battle pass. You get a kid to download the game once, and you can easily get a couple hundred out of them over time. Even more so a reason to get your game out in front of as many people as possible.
@Rexenoboy Well that was actually the whole point of Epic's fight with Apple. Apple didn't want to lower the percentage at all. So Epic took Apple and Android to the court, although not successful, it was still a brave thing to do and the case was making noise for people to understand that walled systems are indeed not entirely fair. If Apple agreed to lower e.g.10%, Epic would probably not have done what it did. It's ok to charge a commission/tax/fee (whatever you call it), but 30% is a lot.
@Octane Tencent owns the controlling share. That's China's MO. They don't buy majority shares where they could be singled out as foreign manipulation of markets. They simply buy controlling shares so that they control the company without being able to be singled out as the majority stake. You'd be shocked how many companies at all levels of western business are really controlled entirely by China, quietly, as shareholders of a controlling stake without listing as majority stake. Sneaky, smart, and terrifyingly they control most of the world through it. They literally purchased Earth, quietly, by our own rules. Foreign investment never should have been allowed to begin with, but that's a whole other thing.
Practically speaking, yes, Tencent/CCP controls Epic Games. And Tim's a stooge, but that's always been true.
While I don't necessarily agree with Epic on all counts, Apple does have some unfair practices as well.
The 30% that is being argued here is more for IAP as opposed to the cut for apps that aren't free. Apps like Walmart, Best Buy, Uber Eats, etc. are all allowed to use their own payment systems that are free of Apple's 30% cut. Apple's argument? Those are physical, offline goods. Virtual items must use Apple's system. ClassPass is a good example of this unfair treatment. It's app used to sell exercise classes at local gyms. These were free from Apple's cut. During the pandemic, it started selling online exercise classes. They had to start paying the 30% because the classes are now "virtual".
There is little in the way of alternatives. If you somehow direct customers to your own website for purchases, the app gets blocked. Additionally, if you push down this 30% cost to the customer, you are not allowed to disclose it to the customer either. If you do, the app gets blocked.
I think the 30% for initial app costs is justified, but asking for 30% on each IAP is where things tend to go too far. I do understand though that if this is the direction things end up, you would get tons of "free" apps with all the features locked behind an IAP. However, I think Apple could create terms/policies to prevent such loopholes (i.e. forcing IAP to be additional content or requiring apps to split "free" and "pro" versions on the app store).
The virtual goods definition is where the problem lies, but there does appear to be an alternative. For example, I can currently use Best Buy's iOS app to buy an eShop gift card. The card is virtual as a code is emailed to me. So Fortnite could have just sold v-buck codes in the app that then get emailed to you and you then redeem on Epic's site. I'd imagine Apple would shut that down somehow though if that was all you sold.
[sees headline, excited] hell yes hell yes
[sees that it's explicitly about walled gardens and gaming marketplaces being digital landlords] Hell Yes Hell Yes Hell Yes Let's GOOOOOOOOOO
@SirRandall You have proven nothing. The fact you clearly don't even understand the basic concept of proof makes it even funnier. Just saying I am wrong doesn't constitute proof--but I really shouldn't have to tell you that.
@Yorumi I get where you're coming from but I do think it's more complex than that.
Yes - everyone has a choice as to whether they buy a iPhone or an alternative (which now pretty much means Android since third parties have almost no market share so it is a duopoly) in the same way that they have the choice as to where they live. In practice though people rarely have complete freedom. For a start off you are literally invested in that platform - it's not cost free to move to another one. Yes there is "platform freedom of movement" but to a certain extent users are a locked in and captive market.
Secondly the alternative ecosystems have no realistic chance to gain traction. We all saw BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone die a death ten years ago - in large part because about 50-75% of all time online is spent on YouTube and Facebook and their owners flat out refused to support BlackBerry OS or Windows Phone with native apps. Starting up a successful new platform (even a new store on Android) isn't something that's realistically within the reach of even ruthless tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon because Google and Apple will march lockstep to deny such an endeavour the apps they'd need for it be viable.
I think additional stores would be broadly good for consumers and I do think the market could comfortably bear another 3-4 across iOS and Android. Monopolies, duopolies, cartels etc. are rarely good for the consumer.
I think this goes for Nintendo too with the Switch - if they auctioned off the right to operate 2-3 rival stores to the eShop (each paying Nintendo an incredible annual flat fee for the right of course) then you'd see more innovation in how games were sold on the platform and some games which currently drown on the eShop might find the environment better.
@glaemay Is that a joke?
Nintendo get's a cut of all the games, and I can't choose what software to run on my switch. At least with an iphone I can write my own software and install it.
@StuTwo Blackberry failed because it refused to provide the devices the market wanted. Windows phone failed because it was trash. No one wanted to develop for this odd ball platform that couldn't do what everyone else did.
@StevenG I'm not sure that's necessarily true. Windows Phone was backed by Nokia - once the largest phone manufacturer. By Windows Phone 7 it was (by most accounts) a nice operating system and many of its key features have since been copied by iOS and Android. Microsoft made their own YouTube app for it, feature complete with the Android one, but Google forced them to pull it.
Blackberry OS had different issues but it was generally secure and I'd say it looked much cleaner than Android. It could even run Android apps natively - though of course they had to be side loaded.
If Google had been forced to allow decent native apps for YouTube and Maps to be available for those operating systems in the native stores (not necessarily to make them themselves) and Apple had less clout behind the scenes with other major app developers then I think either operating system could have survived and established a longer lasting niche.
@Yorumi I think we're actually not far apart in what we think.
If there were a couple of third party stores on iOS they might do things like allow app purchases on iOS to cross over onto Android (since the store operator would probably also operate an independent store on Android!). This would help to close the profitability gap between iOS and Android - everyone would ultimately get better Android apps and it'd be easier to migrate between iPhone and Android (probably one of the reasons why Apple is set on not allowing rival stores on iOS).
I am a strong believe in property that one owns. I just think that when it comes to large scale monopolies owned by vast corporations (ultimately with tens of thousands of different owners), it is sometimes the ethical and right thing to split those companies up or force them to adopt a different ownership structure. That doesn't mean removing someone's private property - they still own the same value of property.
@StuTwo Windows phone wasn't backed by Nokia. MS sent a trojan horse to either make Windows phone a thing or kill Nokia. It was what killed Nokia. From a dev point of view it wasn't great.
Blackberry had the illusion of security. When they give the keys to their encryption to tin pot dictators that argument doesn't fly. They used to demand you give them your email password since they didn't integrate with all providers. That's a major security fail.
Windows phone killed nokia, and blackberry was just resting on its laurels with specious claims of security.
@Yorumi I’m definitely in awe of what Apple has done with the iPhone. It’s incredible.
There comes a point at which change is best for everyone though (I’d argue the rigid App Store structure ruined Apples chance to completely dominate gaming for instance). It’s not about taking things away from Apple shareholders but rather an external force might be needed to make that change happen.
@StevenG I never used either OS but my impression was always quite positive when compared to contemporary versions of Android. The idea that Windows Phone was designed as a “poison pill” for Nokia is a bit far fetched - Microsoft clearly desperately wanted it to be successful.
Whether they were better or not is almost irrelevant though - without Google apps and with Apple dissuading other important app developers they never had a chance.
@StuTwo The user experience maybe, but not for devs. Microsoft wasn't trying to kill Nokia, it was just a sacrifice they were willing to make. The new CEO was from microsoft and his only goal was to spend nokia resources to help MS.
It didn't take much dissuading, it was too different and the dev tools weren't there.
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