Games journalism Twitter (yes, it's a thing) is having an absolute field day with the ongoing Epic V Apple trial, which is being broadcast to anyone who wants to listen — you just have to dial in. This is basically our version of The Bachelorette, full of twists, turns, betrayals, and leaked emails. It's a wild ride.
In case you're wondering what exactly the trial is about, it all pretty much boils down to Apple being a monopoly on iOS — unlike PC, where there's Steam, the Epic Game Store, and itch.io (to name a few), developers have no choice between platforms to publish their game.
What's more, Apple actually charges a 30% commission to all developers, which they have no choice but to pay. That 30% seems to be pretty standard across the board for these kind of stores — which is actually one of Apple's main lines of defence — but Epic disagreed with having to pay it.
Epic attempted to circumnavigate the commission by letting players of the freemium iOS version of Fortnite send their money directly to Epic, and Apple (and Google Play, but that's a whole other ballgame) responded by removing the game from its service.
(This has been a lot to read so far, so here's YouTuber Leviathan's Fortnite-themed parody of American Boy to clear your palate. Enjoy having this in your head for the next week.)
Now, we're on day two (as of writing) of the lawsuit, and it's as silly as you might expect, with video game leaks, embarrassing emails, and CEOs being asked if they know what a PlayStation is.
We'll pop all of the juiciest info right here as the trial continues, and you can just soak it aaaaall up:
- Tim Sweeney, the Epic CEO, was asked to describe how to assemble a Switch, and said "you can see I'm not a Switch player," to which the judge replied, "now the whole world knows." (Source: Rebekah Valentine)
- Even after Epic Games demoed Fortnite on a Mac at WWDC 2015, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, didn't know who Tim Sweeney was — and had to ask his team (Source: Tom Warren)
- Epic apparently think of themselves as the "coolest game developer on the planet" (Source: Adi Robertson)
- Several Fortnite skins were leaked, including Ariana Grande, Naruto, The Rock, John McClane (Die Hard), and Samus Aran — although it's not clear how many of these were scrapped
- Fortnite's in-game concerts are apparently successful, bringing in a lot of new users — all part of Epic's "metaverse", of course (Source: Adi Robertson)
- Apparently, someone at Epic isn't afraid to passive-aggressively threaten Sony in order to get Fortnite Cross-Play on PlayStation (Source: Tom Warren)
- Tim Sweeney thinks that not having cross-play on Fortnite will tear kids' friendships apart (Source: Adi Robertson)
- Tim Sweeney ALSO doesn't own a PlayStation — and the judge doesn't even consider herself a gamer! (Source: Tom Warren)
- Tim Sweeney defines a game as involving "some kind of win or lose" outcome. Hm, we beg to differ, Tim (Source: Adi Robertson)
- Eurogamer was mentioned in the lawsuit... which means we could have been famous too, if we'd played our cards right (Source: Tom Warren)