Fortnite creator files a new claims against apple
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
More drama recently unfolded in the case of Epic Games, Inc. vs. Apple Inc.
There’s a lot of filings in response to filings, and it can get a bit confusing. So let’s start from the beginning.
Why Epic Sued Apple
It all started when Epic created an in app payment system for Fortnite that didn’t give Apple a cut of the purchases.
You see, when you download an app from the App Store, Apple gets 30% of every purchase you make, whether it’s paying for the app itself or buying things in the app. So, when Fortnite gave users the options to bypass this, it violated Apple’s conditions.
That’s when Fortnite got banned from the App Store. In response, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming Apple is violating the Sherman Act by having a virtual monopoly over IOS users. With that, they made a parody video of Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial.
And they make a good point. Any games that are downloaded on an IOS device have to be downloaded through the App Store. And to be on the App Store, Apple requires the 30% “Apple Tax”.
Apple believes that the fee to be a distributor is warranted because it’s lower than what distributors used to take away. Back when games were sold in physical stores (when Blockbuster was still around and tweets were just for birds), distributors took 50% of the sale price. It made sense because they had employees and rent to pay.
But with the App Store, Apple doesn’t have nearly as much expenses to keep it running. With Apple making $15 billion in 2019 with the “Apple Tax”, game developers don’t think that Apple’s fees are fair.
Many developers try to avoid these fees by using loopholes. That’s why you have to buy Amazon Kindle books on the Amazon website instead of the Kindle app.
Although, Apple has made exceptions when it comes to Amazon Prime Video, allowing them to create their own in-payment system (the same thing Fornite got removed from the App Store for).
So, Epic decided to confront Apple once and for all. They knew by installing that payment system Apple would give them grounds for a lawsuit. Epic is also engaged in a similar suit with Google for it’s virtual monopoly over Android products with the Google Play Store.
Other platforms have shown their support for Epic’s cause. Spotify said Apple’s monopoly “disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers”.
Apple has issued a counter filing against Epic Games. They say Epic is attempting to pull a publicity stunt because Fornite’s popularity is in decline. Apple stated in it’s filing that from October of 2019 to July of 2020 interest in Fortnite has decreased by 70%.
All this has led us back around to the recent filing from Epic saying this was wrong, and Apple “cherry picked” these statistics from Google search results.
There you have it. We now anxiously await to see what the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit will bring us. If the courts rule in favor of Epic, the way game distributors interact with developers would change. And in turn, the way developers interact with users could change too.