Epic Games is really swinging for the bleachers on this one.
Earlier today, Epic revealed the Fortnite “mega 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.
Apple has gone crazy. If colleges hold virtual classes through an iPhone app, Apple could demand 30% of the tuition. Truly, Apple has no right to take any percent of any company’s revenue just because they made the phone people use to access the stuff.https://t.co/Pt2JlS4bvo
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 28, 2020
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 Games has filed legal papers in response to Apple, read more here: https://t.co/c4sgvxQUvb
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2020
“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).