Epic Games is suing Apple (and probably Google too) over its payment monopoly

It's about Fortnite, but it's also not really about Fortnite

    
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Epic Games is suing Apple (and probably Google too) over its payment monopoly

Epic Games is really swinging for the bleachers on this one.

Earlier today, Epic revealed the Fortnitemega drop” – a permanent discount of up to 20% on V-Bucks in the game for its console and desktop versions. “This isn’t a sale,” Epic assured players. As part of the deal, the company also implemented “Epic direct payments” on mobile, essentially offering that same discount to people who purchase V-Bucks through Epic – bypassing Google and Apple and thwarting those companies’ attempts to collect 30% fees on transactions inside the games that had absolutely nothing to do with them.

Lest you be tempted to feel too sorry for anyone involved here, recall that Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney has been beating this particular drum for quite a while – most recently in July.

In other words, Epic’s moves today were rather transparently made to force Google and Apple to ban Fortnite from their respective mobile platforms, which both of them dutifully did, thereby allowing Epic Games to file the lawsuit it had clearly already prepared for the specific purpose of forcing this point. Oh, didn’t I mention the lawsuit? You had to know there was a lawsuit!

“Epic brings this suit to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market (each as defined below). Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”

Epic also had a snarky 1984-esque video ready and waiting for the decision too, showing on a loop in-game and on multiple social media channels, and you can view that below while ordering popcorn for the upcoming legal battle (and banging your head against the wall over how none of this megacorp-dueling will actually help the consumer at all).

Source: Lawsuit, Epic, The Verge. Cheers, Schmidt.

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Durindana

F Epic, F the EGS, F Fortnite, F Fortnite $$$ creating silly monopolistic timed incentives

And F Tim Sweeney in particular for pretending Epic, of all companies, could stand in the shoes of 1984-era Apple

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Witches

He’s an hypocrite but he isn’t wrong.

Also isn’t Epic partially owned by Tencent?

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Bryan Correll

Isn’t everything? But, yeah, Tencent has a 40% stake in Epic.

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Bruno Brito

Tencent probably owns 30% of my body.

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Bryan Correll

I feel really old seeing how many people don’t get that the ad is a direct parody of one of the most famous ads of all time, Apple’s own ad for the launch of the Macintosh line.

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Armsman

We ARE rather old at this point (I was 21 when that ad was first released; and the ad itself is 36 years old.) Hey at least the Fortnite folks didn’t pay money to actual skinheads to get them to appear in their version of said ad…

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SirUrza

This lawsuit could have interesting coincidences for Steam since EA claimed this behavior was why they initially left Steam. Now if that’s the case and it wasn’t some attempt to force people to use Origin instead this could change the way microtransactions are handled on Steam.

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Dankey Kang

Whoever wins, we lose.

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Leiloni

I think we need to backup to the part where people are playing Fortnite on mobile? I’m so confused, I thought this was a PC game. But if anyone’s trying to break up monopolies I’m all for it. Regardless of who benefits here, we need more of this because there’s too many tech-related monopolies and more attention needs to be brought to how much of an issue it is.

Just because Epic is big, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a good point we can all get behind. Do you really think small companies or regular people would have the money for this sort of thing? If this is what it takes to bring an issue to the forefront, then so be it. Let them get the train moving, if it keeps going the smaller folk can jump on later.

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agemyth 😩

Epic, a multi-billion dollar company, is using propaganda to turn their young audience into a weapon against trillion dollar companies in the pursuit of becoming a trillion dollar company themselves with similar control over markets. I really can’t feel a shred of sympathy for Sweeney or Epic here. They are no friend of consumers or small developers.

I don’t have the time or emotional bandwidth to delve into just how fucking stupid this video is, enlisting the spirit of resistance to totalitarian government (already diluted by appearing in an advertisement) to…get people onside in their quest for some more money.

-Kotaku

They aren’t suing to get money out of either company, rather they say they’re seeking “injunctive relief” that would end the monopolies both companies hold.

It’s a good sentiment. But it doesn’t sit right that Epic are trying to recruit their fanbase (of mostly very young people!) via an in-game propaganda video to rally with the cause of a billion-dollar tech company. Sure, the sentiment is there, but that just doesn’t seem an appropriate way to go about it.

-Rock Paper Shotgun

Those are pretty much my feelings.

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traja

It seems like Kotaku missed that the video is based on an old Apple commercial. Obviously it’s still what Rock Paper Shotgun describes it as being.

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agemyth 😩

(already diluted by appearing in an advertisement)

That part of the Kotaku quote I pulled was in reference to the Apple ad.

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cykelbud

Please clarify why Epic is no friend of small developers.
I guess you are not a game developer.

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agemyth 😩

This is capitalism. Epic will pose as anyone’s friend as long as Epic will make money from doing so.

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2Ton Gamer

I don’t know what’s more entertaining, this setup foolishness from EPIC or all of the armchair lawyers here in the chat XD

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ichi sakari

the news is entertaining, armchair experts are just sauce

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XanadoX

By now, it’s Epic’s fault that Fornite’s players cant play with their purchased goods in Apple’s devices.

Epic has auto-banned their app with an all-in that has very little chance to become a change in the fee system.

How is Epic going to compensate their clients/ players?

On the other hand, if they are against fees: why cant you publish your game in Epic Store with a 0 % fee?

This seems a PR or marketing strategy.

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sirradoria

I read that title singing Ironic.