Epic Games could lose almost $50M every month the Fortnite Apple/Google lawsuits go on

Yes, Epic's suing Google now too

    
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Epic Games could lose almost $50M every month the Fortnite Apple/Google lawsuits go on

Yesterday, we covered the emerging legal drama between Epic Games and… well, everyone with a platform trying to take a cut from transactions inside apps. Epic implemented discounted direct payments inside its mobile apps, inciting Apple and Google to ban Fortnite from their marketplaces, which in turn allowed Epic to drop its prepared “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” video on a loop and its prepared lawsuit to fight what it describes as “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.” As of today, Epic’s filed a lawsuit against Google for the same reasons.

Notably, Epic says it’s not after money. “Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered,” the complaint declares. “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.”

But it’s definitely costing Epic money in the short-term. A report from Sensor Tower (via GIbiz) puts it all into perspective: Fortnite has made around $1.2B in revenue since it landed on the Apple store in 2018. That’s spread over 133M downloads. Over the last month, Apple players dropped $43.4M on the game, with another $3.3M coming in from Android players. (Our assumption here is that Android players were more likely to be playing outside of Google Play to begin with, given the long delay the game suffered on that platform.)

Either way, Epic’s good for it: It’s worth about $17B. And besides, it seems clear the real goal here is to get the Epic Games Store on mobile, which would be worth many, many months of losses.

Source: Sensor Tower via GIbiz

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Pandalulz

Or to rephrase just because it’s funny to think about exactly how much money they siphon off of others “Apple and Google could lose almost $20M every month the Fortnite Apple/Google lawsuits go on” even if that $20M is mostly just chump change to them.

I’m not on anybody’s side. I refuse to give any of them money, although I have personally been burnt by Apple in the past and mostly hate them on principle. I’m just getting my Michael Jackson popcorn GIF ready.

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agemyth 😩

I don’t give a truck if these corporations want to flush money down the drain throwing fits about how they split their cash with each other. What bothers me is the way Epic/Sweeney keeps trying to convince consumers to fight for them. Piss off and fight your own fights in courts like all the other soulless corporations do.

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zuldar

I see three distinct possibilities for this.

1) Epic is willing to squander money in an attempt to get digital storefronts to take a smaller cut, which seems unlikely to work at best.

2) This is some deeply cynical scheme to make more money by using consumers to pressure Apple and Google into giving Epic a better deal.

3) Sweeney’s gone mad.

It’s probably number 2, it’s usually just about the money.

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agemyth 😩

#1 is already known to be true because they have thrown many millions of dollars at developers for the 1-year PC exclusive releases before their storefront had proven to make anybody money other than Fortnite.

#2 is what I believe to be true because that what capitalism does.

#3 is likely also true because because Sweeney is a billionaire with so much power and influence that he can wield his whole company as a weapon against things that bother him personally.

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David Goodman

Honestly, I do not believe this lawsuit will go anywhere, and Epic stands to lose a lot of money fighting this losing battle. If I were the kind of person who had money enough to own stocks in Epic, i’d have sold them off immediately in panic at this boneheaded announcement :)

I’m surprised that Epic’s lawyers didn’t slap Tim in the back of the head for even thinking of this.

Look, the only way that Apple / Google would have a monopoly would be if the ONLY phones were Apple / Google phones, and that there were no other phones that you could sell your app on.

The simple fact that they ARE suing both Apple and Google is proof that neither have a monopoly — they just pissed off both of the biggest companies at the same time by violating their TOS. And, even still, there ARE other phones and infrastructures out there that aren’t Apple or Google, which further disproves the monopoly. Just because it’s REALLY HARD to get into that industry doesn’t make it a monopoly that Apple/Google and enforcing.

This isn’t about taking Apple or Google’s side – it’s not a ‘fight’. There’s no sides; Epic is simply wrong and the suit has no merit.

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agemyth 😩

Sweeney thinks Steam is a monopoly, so by that standard Apple/Google are super monopolies.

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John Kiser

For all intents and purposes Steam is a monopoly. I know some fanboys want to say it isn’t, but lets break down the very real situation that existed. First and foremost outside of EA with origin if you were releasing a AAA game it was on steam and maybe you’d also release on origin (most of the games they don’t make themselves are smaller titles). Outside of a few first party stores where they were able to release too like Witcher 3 (which most of the sales were on steam and not GoG) and things like Uplay (again most sales through steam) they are the defacto.

Something to keep in mind here. To be a monopoly doesn’t necessarily require one to be the only option, but rather control the means and marketplace in such a matter that it is impossible for someone coming in to actually compete with you and steam fits that bill entirely. Steam enjoys first mover advantage and as such they literally have control of resources (buyers (the people using steam to buy games) and publishers (publisher relationships) and once in a position like that it becomes near impossible for anyone to take on an incumbent and thus in the real world exclusivity contracts are a commonality in store fronts of all sorts and it is why you see varying stores make deals with varying celebrities to try and get people into their stores.

Steam also flouts anti-trust rules if we are being honest here in them having some clauses that require if a publisher has a sale anywhere (it has to be the publisher doing the sale and not just the store front) that they are required to put that game up for sale on steam in X amount of time too…. Also to get into this while there may be other “store fronts” which some like to point out most just are selling steam keys that are extra keys the developer requested and gives to stores like green man gaming, fanatical or humble….

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Sorenthaz

So they intentionally planned this but are trying to act as martyrs against tech platforms. They claim this isn’t about money but then talk about fair competition in the mobile markets.

So basically this would be how they could try to expand their Epic Games Store to mobile.

That’s how I’m reading between the lines sith this at least. Tim Sweeney is ultimately concerned with money and his own platform’s growth. The charity and competition spiels are just ways to make it look better and turn this not into a consumer issue but some sort of moral one.

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Schmidt.Capela

Actually, they could release their Epic store for Android if they wanted. Epic is even free to make deals with manufacturers to have their phones ship with an Epic store already installed.

The fact they are suing Google too to force the Play Store to lower its commission, instead of trying to get their Epic store on Android, tells me this isn’t about access, but instead purely about money. Naked greed by a company immoral enough to violate their contractual obligations in order to force a legal battle.

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Arktouros

It feels weird to agree with you on things.

:S

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Pandalulz

Epic is even free to make deals with manufacturers to have their phones ship with an Epic store already installed.

Except that apparently Google made a point to block them from even doing that, which is apparently part of the lawsuit. https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/13/21368395/fortnite-epic-games-oneplus-deal-google-play-store-lawsuit-lg

But I agree there’s no reason it couldn’t still be side-loaded after the fact, just like before it came to the Play store. But that’s not an impulse download at that point.

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Arktouros

I’d definitely be interested in hearing a lawyer’s opinion on this one. Google’s deal with LG for example is straight outa the Microsoft and Internet Explorer OEM meddling. However the OnePlus deal was seemingly more concern over the ability to side load apps without the warnings popping up and OnePlus wouldn’t do it outside of India.

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Arktouros

My favorite thing is the people they are trying to appeal to are traditionally people who don’t care at all about this stuff or get motivated. It’s literally companies that are so rich they’re willing to just throw away millions of dollars away and shrug it off because it might give them a few million more here or there. Meanwhile young adults are facing crippling debt and wage stagnation and are just looking to blow off steam while not thinking about the dread of it all.

If 50% of Fortnite’s audience understood their video reference I would be honestly shocked. It’s so dated and this whole thing is out of touch.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

Lawsuits are always expensive. But sometimes you just gotta stand up to The Man.

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Bruno Brito

Where in the world isn’t Epic part of The Man, or whatever ethereal name we give to the powers that be in market?

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John Kiser

Epic’s exclusivity deals don’t make them part of “the man”. Those deals are necessary to make a real competing store and would be even with feature parity or better features on EGS.

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Jeremy Barnes

Epic is most certainly ‘the man’. They’re using their vast market share in other businesses to try to force companies to adhere to their wants instead of just directly competing in these new fields with a superior product.

Don’t be a fanboy of any large company..ever. It just means you’ve been fooled.

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John Kiser

*sigh* so you are one of these people. There is no “superior product” competes well in the real world unless we are talking about hardware here and we are not. When you are dealing with store fronts in the real world (this is with anything) you deal with exclusivity contracts as a driving force. The fanboy in this situation is you as you are likely a steam fanboy that is just bent out of shape.

Epic’s vast market share in other businesses? What are you on about? Epic has three businesses currently. They are a game developer, a game engine developer, and a game store front.

Again I guess I need to explain first mover advantage because you seem ignorant as hell. If epic had feature parity or even a better feature set no one would use it. This idea of “superior product” being something that works is a logical fallacy and idealist in nature, but it doesn’t actually exist in the real world unless you are tangibly making something that “goes faster” like hardware.

First mover advantage is a company controlling the means of production in such a way that it is damaging to someone attempting to compete and may make it impossible to do so. In the case of steam they control the pc gaming user base as well as most developer/publisher relationships. This literally makes it near impossible for a competitor to get a foot in the door and no amount of stupid hand wringing of “there are competing store fronts” is going to change that. Those competing store fronts people love to trot out are in fact most of the time selling extra steam keys that the publisher/developer has requested and short of itch.io (which also allows selling steam keys) and GoG you don’t see any actual competition to steam. Origin is first party titles primarily and while they may get some older titles or indie titles they aren’t getting new AAA games that aren’t first party and the same goes for Uplay, Battlenet, arc games, and so on and even itch.io and GoG don’t compete.

An example of them not competing is the witcher spin off game doing terribly when released on GoG only and then doing favorably once released on steam. Again a superior product doesn’t win unless it is hardware based. The problem saying that it would denies the reality that people won’t move unless other people are there too and to get other people to a store front means driving customers to your store.

While epic might be big and is throwing it’s weight around what they are doing is actually something that benefits everyone and not just themselves ultimately. Apple and google taking a smaller cut isn’t ultimately going to hurt them, nor is allowing other payment providers (have them verify and have the payment providers pay to be usable on that platform yearly). As I’ve said in other places they could have a sliding scale where the more money earned by a company the less of a % they pay. There is no reason in HELL epic should be paying apple 30% on hundreds of millions of dollars and even steam realized that was not a good thing to do in recent years and have since adjusted things.

To put this in perspective there have been instances where Epic would of been paying apple between 150 – 190 million dollars in one year for a single application on top of their developer fee. This isn’t apple collecting a little 99 cent purchase or the like it’s them taking 3.00 from a 10 dollar transaction and when a game is popular enough that ends up being a shit load more money than is reasonable. I think a sliding scale would literally solve the entire damn issue here and would placate all sides in the matter, but so would allowing other payment processors to be used and charging a connection fee for use of it that is fair….

And to add I’m not a fanboy of any company at all. I’m a person that actually understands business and this shit is simple business 101 shit to understand. 30% is too much in the modern age with some games earning billions by themselves in revenue and a sliding scale based on how much a game is making going to as low as 10% is the most fair way to handle any of this period.

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Lateris

Agreed, nothing wrong with suing the monopolies for an open and free market :)

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zaber

The problem Epic says open free market, and to help players/dev. Then really hate Linux over all as a desktop but push to be on Windows only a monopoly desktop then keeping monopoly in check, as they claim.

Only problem Apple haves tons of money, they’ll be in counts for years spending so much why so many people out of work, and so many devs try keep the lights on due this virus.

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Anstalt

I have no problem at all with Apple taking their cut when selling apps through their app store. Apple has a right to protect their devices and their ecosystem and app submission / review / approval process is a big part of that. Definitely on Apple’s side when it comes to the store / app distribution.

However, once Apple have done their thing and the app is released, that should be that. If in-app purchases are being done entirely through the app and not using any of Apples stuff, then the devs should keep all of that money. So, im on Epic’s side for this part of the issue.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I have no stake in this either way, I don’t play mobile games at all and have never spent money in a cash shop in a game.

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McGuffn

That would destroy a vast majority of free download things. From games to productivity.

Not that I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to that.

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Arktouros

Like obviously that wouldn’t work right either. Many companies use a F2P business model that’s largely backed and funded entirely through in-app purchases (“microtransactions”). This would just leave all the cost on the storefronts to review/approve/host/maintain/deploy updates/etc to software yet get basically nothing in return.

People quibble over the 30% number but either don’t know or forget that in the old days of physical publishing it was vastly higher cut over all and it being 30% is already a huge reduction from what it used to be. A comparable example where numbers are often discussed is like with Books where digital books often times see that same 30% going to the publisher/store but physical sales are closer to the 90-95% range going to the publisher.

Again this is just one man’s rage project against the idea any other store is owed a cut of his product. He can say it’s not about the money all he wants, but 50 million a month on a 30% split is roughly 180 million a year getting sent to the storefronts. With the other 420 million they’re still getting they have “fuck it” frivolous lawsuit money.

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John Kiser

A sliding scale on the % paid vs how much a game makes is the best way to handle this just like valve did with steam. It could go as low as 10% and just have it be a reasonable number for both parties. The fact is that 30% is too high in this day and age with some games hitting billions in money earned from the title. A game earning a billion shouldn’t need to fork out 300 mill.

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Jeremy Barnes

Even if you said this wasn’t for ‘f2p’ then what is the minimum? Can I seel it for 1 cent and then have in-app purchases? No…that’s obviously trying to flout the rule! So you would need a minimum..what is it?

Apple is certainly a bad actor with their store and hardline policies, but epic is not the solution.

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Syran

As a developer, I couldn’t care less what Epic’s or Sweeney’s reasons are for going after store fronts. If they win, this will be a huge net positive for developers. Period. And that’s ultimately going to benefit players as well.

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bobfish

If Epic win, someone could bring the same case against Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo in regards to the consoles, and probably easily win because of the precedent it sets.

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Arktouros

If they win someone could bring the same case against Epic for not allowing their shitty game access to the Epic Game store market and then they would have to let all the trash apps that you find on Steam as well. You might think, “But wait you can just go to Steam…” but there are customers who are Epic Game store customers only and not Steam users so that’s an exclusive market they have access to and Epic is denying them the ability to sell products to.

The whole thing sets an atrocious precedent.

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Arktouros

More lies and bullshit out of Epic and Sweeney.

Sweeney said that Microsoft and Sony are fine because there’s research costs into their devices in the environments they run but that’s obviously true for mobile phones as well where in Apple’s case they design the hardware and system. The truth is more likely that Sony and Microsoft gave Fortnite a special deal on their revenue split and Apple/Google won’t play ball like that.

That said I think this will be a very interesting case all around in terms of propriety environments. Digital to real analogies are weird but this is a bit like a farmer who sells produce to a grocery store chain demanding to be able to sell directly to customers inside the grocery store and bypassing the store entirely while still inside the store. The entire idea sets a bad precedent and one that could work against Epic as well because it means not only can they no longer deny what games could be in their Epic Store but also those games could bypass the Epic Store’s cut entirely as well.

Entire thing is just a big PR stunt to try to get Apple or Google to settle and reduce their cut in the market.

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Dug From The Earth

Your analogy is 100% correct

However, in the case of Apple, there is one factor that is easily overlooked.

You can ONLY get apps for your Apple devices, through Apple.

The farmers only option is to sell THROUGH the grocery store. They arent able to open up shop on the side of a road, or at a mom&pop store.

Apple, in a sense, has a monopoly, and thats what Epic is fighting against.
How they are doing it, once again, is dirty and low down… but then, all of the legit attempts to get Apple to play fair havent really been working out.

Sweeney, as slimey as he does things, seems to be striving, yet again, to make things not so top heavy, so that developers can be rewarded better and be in more control over what they sell and how they sell it.

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Arktouros

However Apple is not only place you can sell apps on. You can sell apps on Google’s Android. You can even manually install apps on Google’s android. You can also sell apps on consoles and PCs and other devices. They literally have a whole business now with the Epic Games Store that shows they can be in the market.

It’s like there’s multiple grocery stores and Farmer markets in town but you’re specifically complaining that this one grocery store chain in town refuses to let you directly sell your cabbages to customers and bypass their checkout lanes and cut of the profits. Now they’re trying to say that grocery store has a “monopoly” on their customer base because those customers shop there exclusively. However they don’t have to shop there, they could go to a different store (get a different device/etc).

This is the key distinction here. Apple doesn’t have a monopoly. A monopoly implies that you can’t get a similar product anywhere else but in fact Apple doesn’t even have a majority share of the mobile phone market. It has a customer base, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is entitled to that customer base. Also anti-trust and monopoly style laws tend to go after businesses who are using their position of power in a market to crush/stifle competition. That isn’t the case here. Epic is free to publish their game through the store so long as they’re willing to follow the same rules as everyone else. However, again, this is just about Sweeney’s raging hard on against storefronts taking a cut of what he sees as his profits.

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Dug From The Earth

Wow.. that is really stretching it.

Simply put: If you want to sell to Apple users, you have to use the Apple Appstore.

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Arktouros

If you want to sell cabbages to people who shop at Krogers then you have to sell your cabbages to Krogers.

???

Like do people not understand what a monopoly is? Do people not understand what anti-competitive and crushing the market is? Like when I think of monopoly I think of “Standard Oil” or “US Steel” where it was like 99% of all those things came from a single company and anyone else who tried to get into those markets were crushed, undermined or unable to operate.

Watch “The Men who Built America” on Amazon Prime. Good watch. Very educational.

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traja

People didn’t have to use Windows on their PC but Microsoft was still hit with an antitrust action in both US and the EU. They were fined half a billion euros.

I’m not saying there is a similar case against Apple necessarily but clearly this issue is not as simple as your grocery store analogy is making it out to be.

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cursedseishi

If you’re referencing what I believe you’re referencing, it isn’t all that applicable either. Apple, Google, and Epic Games are all MASSIVE successes. The Microsoft case was regarding Netscape and Microsoft literally admitting in the evidence of it that they were ‘choking’ the competition out.

Netscape started to crop up and gain traction, so Microsoft intentionally made it difficult (if not impossible) to uninstall the Windows Internet Explorer Browser as well as made it difficult to use other competing browsers and similar software. They also started including IE with the operating system for ‘free’. That, among the other details, forced Netscape out and eventually they closed up shop.

What this lawsuit is, is a producer stamping their feet over what the store they are trying to sell themselves through are taking as their cut. Apple is trash. Google is trash. But so is Epic Games–and what they are decrying here is literally the same thing they are doing with their store, and are happy to allow happen with console makers.

And why are they happy with the console makers? Because if Sony and Microsoft got served with this lawsuit, not only would Epic lose out on their cheap and easy Fortnite revenue there as well, their engine would lose MAJOR support in the industry. This isn’t them trying to win a fight for us, this isn’t about saving us money.

This is about greedy arses wanting more of ‘all’ the money. None of them are suffering without this income, they’re just losing out on more of their millions.

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traja

Microsoft didn’t block installing other browsers onto Windows. Apple does block installing other storefronts and installing games outside the Apple store. Windows was not the only option on the platform while iOS is.

What I think will really make the difference is that Apple does not have a dominating market share in the mobile phone sector. It’s not that what they are doing isn’t as bad, because really it’s worse, it’s that iOS isn’t nearly in the same position as Windows was.

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Arktouros

It didn’t outright block the other browsers but it was securing deals to crush it’s competition at the same time and went as far as to integrate the browser into the operating system. Windows XP you could type a URL into a file explorer window and it operated just like an internet explorer window. I know this cause I did this to get around my work restriction at the time (they had “uninstalled” Internet Explorer lol).

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traja

Had Microsoft behaved like Apple it would have been impossible to install any other web browser than IE. So while the judgement was obviously well deserved what Microsoft was doing wasn’t nearly as bad. I was reading about the story at the time on Firefox.

If the goal is to have an EGS on iOS then Apple is doing far worse anti competitive practices by making it literally impossible to compete with their pre-installed store. But the iOS market share isn’t even close to Windows globally so I don’t think this will go anywhere.

The console comparison is valid but that is a whataboutism. It doesn’t change anything that others are doing the same bad things.

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cursedseishi

Windows didn’t have to ‘block’ installing other browsers. Taken from the documentation itself, they stifled and made competing with them so difficult that it shunted Netscape out.

And I’m sorry, but your take is horribly off-base. Apple’s IOS is a storefront. Same as how The Playstation Network is its own specific storefront, Nintendo’s E-shop is their own specific storefront. But, like I said and you missed the point entirely of, Epic isn’t interested in going after them and their similarly %-based cut and fees.

They’re going after Apple and Google because there’s literally no blowback to Epic in doing so. They aren’t developers, they don’t license any Epic products for use. And if they lose out on that base and Apple and Google blacklist them, they lose out on nothing long-term.

… And yes, Apple doesn’t let you install games outside of the IOS store. Yes, payments go through a centralized service. But stop acting like that is inherently a ‘negative’ for consumers. You know why Epic gave in on the Android store? Because it was EASY to side load malware onto the phone. Because MULTIPLE fraudulent programs and look-alike sites were created to monopolize on that and worked to trick children into installing them rather than the legitimate copy.

It’s essentially whining that a Retail store won’t let you give your credit card information to the guy in the black van behind the store.

And no, as I’ve seen you misstate, this isn’t about ‘installing EGS’ on Apple. This is about Apple not letting Epic bypass protection for credit card information and charges while still releasing on their storefront. Because you’d have to be an utter and complete moron to let that happen. Apple is HOSTING the game on their storefront, and if someone releases an app through it and later mines financial data from people paying through the app rather than Apple for fraud? Apple might still be held responsibe since they served as a distributor of it.

Again. And I will quote it here just to make it EXTRA clear.

This is about greedy arses wanting more of ‘all’ the money. None of them are suffering without this income, they’re just losing out on more of their millions.

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traja

Ehh, you are writing this most likely on a PC, probably a Windows PC, that you can install any and all malware on that you want, and use your credit card on any service you wish. You really can’t make me care about the security argument.

Also the console comparison is a whataboutism. One bad act does not justify the same bad act by someone else. Consoles are a valid comparison but irrelevant when it comes to what Apple is doing.

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cursedseishi

Also the console comparison is a whataboutism.

Real cute coming from you.

‘Whataboutism’ is where you try to charge someone with a hypocritical fallacy without addressing the actual statement and argument, such as… oh I don’t know

Ehh, you are writing this most likely on a PC, probably a Windows PC, that you can install any and all malware on that you want, and use your credit card on any service you wish. You really can’t make me care about the security argument.

Or, to simplify it for you. “Oooooh! You talk about security, but yet you uuuuse Wiindooooows which isn’t secure! Ooooh, I’m so smart!” Or, simpler still, a troll.

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traja

Well that proved your desperation nicely. Nothing like having to resort to childish personal attacks. Too easy :D

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Arktouros

Aha, the Microsoft thing.

A huge reason why Microsoft was hit with the anti-trust action was their anti competitive market practices. They specifically secured deals with OEMs to only install Internet Explorer and to stifle other browsers like Netscape or Java.

Apple/Google aren’t trying to be anti-competitive or stifling Fortnite. This is purely a complaint from Epic regarding exclusive hardware manufacturers and system operators demanding a cut to operate in their market/ecosystem.

ArsTechnica recently compared a similar scenario with Consoles in a really good article where Nintendo not only prevented third party sellers from designing games that worked with their system but also sued and took people to court over the issue and won giving them total control over their market/eco system:

To prevent history from repeating itself, Nintendo created a lockout chip for the NES that gave it effective control over what cartridges could run on its hardware (and gave it the capability to extract a licensing fee from game developers for the privilege of producing cartridges). When companies like Tengen tried to get around this restriction, Nintendo took them to court and won, cementing its right to Apple-style control of its own software marketplace.

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McGuffn

If you want to sell to Epic users you have to use the Epic Games Store.

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Sorenthaz

Apple really is akin to a console company in this instance. At the end of the day they get to control what is available on their app store and they get a cut to advertise it, host update servers, etc. It’s exactly like Sony’s PSN market or Xbox Live Marketplace etc.

Epic is not liking that as it sounds like they essentially want to have their cake and eat it too at Apple’s expense.

Android is a little different because Google isn’t as controlling outside of their own manufactured products that are set up to only use play store apps/etc. akin to Apple products. Epic was free to operate outside of the Play Store and they did indeed do that until they realized it’s safer for them to be on the official storefront. But that’s an option and one they took only to then gripe about it because they’re not happy Google takes a cut of their $$.

Ultimately it seems like the end goal is probably to expand their EGS to mobile, and from there they could get in fights with console companies to run EGS on console systems. This is less about standing up to monopolies and more about trying to forcefully break up the dichotomy so they can shove their own storefront into other platforms. Or force Apple/Google to not get as much/any cut from their storefronts which would give them no incentive to maintain the storefronts and keep them consumer focused.

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Greaterdivinity

Not at all. Apple operates no differently than Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo except for the fact that there aren’t retail versions of apps (well…there probably are somewhere).

All of them fund R&D for their devices, they manufacture them, they create the OS, the create the storefront, they market them etc. They control the entire food chain, and even in the case of console makers with retail games you still need to get your game certified by the platform holders so even if you try to run a bootleg printing it’s not gonna work.

Apple has no more of a monopoly than the console makers do.

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Schmidt.Capela

I do think all of those manufacturers should be forced to allow users that so desire — and that are willing to forego the software part of their device’s warranty — to install software from third party sources. The manufacturer’s continued ability to prevent users from fully using their devices is a travesty.

But forcing them to alter the terms of their app stores? Sorry, but not only I don’t see this being an issue at all, it would also set a troubling precedent in allowing external entities to set the terms and condition of another company’s operations.

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Jeremy Barnes

Sweeney does absolutely nothing for developers. They’re just a convenient prop to use in his own interests and if he was ever able to shift power in his direction, he’d quickly screw them over for an extra penny.

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Kyonshi_2en

How are people quick to forget, this is the same Tim Sweeney who once called PC gaming dead and that PCs are only suited for facebook, and yet now he is being hailed as a hero because he gives free games?

As much as people hate Steam, it helped curb the rampant PC piracy at the time by giving added value, while the likes of Epic just left.

As much as I hate Apple’s walled garden, regardless of what Epic does I can’t root for them at all. They are clearly in the wrong since they purposely broke their rules. Their 1984 mock video clearly shows they had bad faith when they did such things.

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Dug From The Earth

I hate epic less than apple.

Thats what it comes down to for me

And whats the deal? Its ok for people like me an you to change their minds and opinions about things, but not ok for someone else, like Tim Sweeny? Everyone, at some point in their life has said something that they later dont believe or agree with anymore.

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Kyonshi_2en

Not saying it is wrong to change their views, but it is pretty hypocritical of him to act like he is on a crusade for the goodness of developers by reducing the %cut, specially when it comes to EGS and Steam. Maybe he should start by giving his own developers more pay and free time instead of overworking them with crunch time on Fortnite.

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Dug From The Earth

Edit:

Hypocritical isnt the right term here.

Conniving maybe? He clearly has many goals for his actions, and he chooses to front the ones that would be more publicly appealing (for the devs!!)

But should we really be upset?

Its like when Jeff Bezos donates a huge chunk of money to some charity. Regardless of if the amount he donates is like $5 to the rest of us in the big scheme of things, we shouldnt overlook the good that comes from the action itself. Not saying to praise Bezos, but instead, focus on the good that came from a slimeball who was just trying to improve his PR. The good still happens, regardless of the motivation.

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Kyonshi_2en

Saying he is doing it for the good of developers is what is hypocritical to me.

Him going back into PC gaming is just a business move and yet many, which he himself has done, make it like his fight against Steam and now Google/Apple is something greater than it is which doesn’t sit with me well.

The way he condones himself is what I feel is acting as a hypocrite.

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Dug From The Earth

Well, the truth of the matters is… he IS doing it for the good of the developers….

… as well as the good of his company, and his bank account, and his control/power lust, and probably many other reasons.

Doesnt make him a hypocrit, just makes him shadey and not entirely honest up front.

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McGuffn

That may be a side effect but there’s no evidence that’s actually his motive.

Is demanding exclusivity deals good for the developers?

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traja

Sure, it can be. Developers are not accepting the exclusivity deals at gun point. They are accepting because it’s a good offer for them.

I think you are mixing customer interests and developer interests. Exclusivity deals are bad for customers but not really for developers.

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McGuffn

Arktouros just linked a thread somewhere around here with developers saying it’s bad for them.

And then there’s the whole thing last year with developers yanking their games off steam because epic wanted exclusivity and the developers then justifiably getting shit on.

pretending epic is some angelic do-gooder doesn’t make epic angelic do-gooders.

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traja

Steam is still by far the bigger platform so I don’t think the developers are really suffering if Epic doesn’t let them on board without exclusivity. Sure it’s shady but overall the option to accept a deal is better than not having that option at all.

Epic is no hero but that doesn’t mean that everything they do is bad for everyone. Like as a customer the exclusivity deals are bad for me but the free games are good. Personally, it’s been more good than bad.

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McGuffn

So… you acknowledge that steam has the bigger platform and your argument is thus Epic insisting that developers be excluded from the bigger platform isn’t bad for developers?

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traja

Well yes because they are only excluded from Steam if they accept a sum of money that they are not in any way forced to accept. Really the only shady part from a developer perspective is not allowing access to the EGS without an exclusivity deal in some cases. That however is not that significant as Steam will still be available and it is the bigger platform.

To put it simply:

Scenario 1: There is no EGS. Developers sell on Steam and gamble on success.

Scenario 2: Epic offers developers the option to accept a guaranteed sum of money in exchange for exclusivity. If they decline then Steam is still available.

Can you see how Scenario 2 is strictly superior for a developer?

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McGuffn

Traja, you’re describing a protection racket.

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traja

I don’t think that the mafia usually pays people to protect them. I could be wrong but that is not how they do it in the movies.

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McGuffn

The mafia pays people off all the time?

In terms of the protection racket, the developer is giving epic something of value (exclusivity) in exchange for protection (guaranteed sales by epic or money upfront) or you can try to go it alone and “take your chances” on steam.

It’s what you said. If Epic was a neutral party to all this (opened a store, gave developers a more favorable rate, and not insist on exclusivity) I wouldn’t have a problem with them and they’d probably come out ahead. There will be developers who refuse to put their games on steam or apple for that matter.

Instead they’re bullying people or purposefully excluding people from the platform and putting some greasy money into peoples pockets to get what they want.

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traja

I agree that denying access to their store without an exclusivity deal is definitely shady and bullying. The only reason I am not that worried about it is because Epic cannot remove access to Steam as a platform, and Steam is the dominating platform in this space. So the overall negative outcome is small to those developers.

To actually resemble a protection racket it would require that Epic had the power to do something to the developers that is beyond just the Epic platform. Like the mafia didn’t threaten people with banning them from mafia controlled businesses. They used the threat of physical violence and damage to property.

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Schmidt.Capela

Yep. Which is why I consider every single publisher or dev that accepts an exclusivity deal to be a greedy jerk intentionally harming customers for a quick buck, and thus that doesn’t deserve to see any money whatsoever for whatever they signed the exclusivity deal for.

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McGuffn

not everyone. klei gave people steam keys if you bought on epic.

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McGuffn

Both hypocritical and conniving are accurate. We don’t have to choose!

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Jeremy Barnes

Jess Bezos and the other ultra rich almost never donate their own money. They donate ours…because they immediately turn around and write it off their taxes and thus the rest of us have to pay more taxes while “Bezos” collects the benefits (gifts, acclaim, invites, etc) of *his* donation.

So your example is likely more appropriate than you thought…whatever sweeney says is probably a lie and he’s not trying to help anyone, but himself.