Google seeks to dismiss Epic’s lawsuit as Epic talks up the Fortnite ‘Metaverse’

    
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While much of the focus of the Epic lawsuit coverage has been on Apple, which was certainly helped along by that 1984 parody ad played on Fortnite, Epic Games is picking a fight on at least two fronts as the company is fighting Google too. So let’s cast our eyes in that direction for a moment, particularly since Google has issued a filing that seeks to completely dismiss Epic’s suit, pointing to the more open nature of Android as its justification.

The filing suggests Google is not in favor of merging its litigation with Apple’s, implying Google is willing to sit on the sidelines for now to see how the drama between Apple and Epic plays out.

To that point, Epic has filed a response to the legal ruling that allowed Fortnite to remain barred from iOS and Apple. This filing seeks to up the stakes of what Fortnite plans to be, hinting that Epic hopes it’ll become a form of social media:

“One of the factors that makes Fortnite so special is its groundbreaking ability to provide a forum for a wide variety of virtual social experiences such as concerts, movie nights, and social and political discussions all in a single, freely accessible world. In the future, Epic plans to offer many more events and new features in Fortnite, with the ultimate goal of creating the Fortnite Metaverse, a robust real-time, three-dimensional social medium complete with its own economy, where people will be able to create and engage in any number of shared experiences… The vitality of Fortnite as a social space will increasingly depend on access for mobile users.

“The communal experience of the Fortnite platform, the free flow of thoughts and ideas within the game’s many virtual spaces, and the game’s utility as an outlet for social connection, have led Fortnite to be considered a challenger and substitute for Facebook, Snapchat, and others.”

The filing also once more pointed to Epic’s desire to use its own payment system in the game, which it says was used by 53% of iOS users when it was made available. Apple’s response to all of this is due by September 18th, while another hearing is set for September 28th. Basically, keep that popcorn warm, friends; this ain’t quite done.

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hardy83

So they want to make Fortnite a secondlife or Ready Player One world?

lol good luck with that.

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David Goodman

I still honestly still can’t see a path Epic even has to win this.

I don’t believe they will get their injunction to be allowed back on for the duration of the lawsuit. There’s a lot of things they have to prove for courts to give injunctive relief to a company like that. Most of those points are already countered by the fact that Epic planned and calculated their breach of contract deliberately. (for one example, financial losses due to self-inflicted actions are not ‘irreparable harm’)

It’s also not illegal just to simply BE a monopoly. It’s only when you use your power to prevent other people from entering the market that it’s illegal — but the “market” Epic is fighting for IS Apple. It’s not “the mobile game market”; they’re not being prevented from creating a game. Or from making their own operating system or phone device.

They are saying that Apple is a monopoly of itself and… I mean, yeah. So is Wal-Mart; so is Target. So is the lemonaid stand I had when I was a kid. (I didn’t have a lemonaid stand; I just threw lemons at people in the rain.) So is Epic – they’ve got their own contracts and if you don’t agree to them, or if you violate them, they’ll kick you off.

I don’t think the actual price they charge determines if something is a monopoly or not

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Bruno Brito

(I didn’t have a lemonaid stand; I just threw lemons at people in the rain.)

Why.

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David Goodman

Supply and Demand is a cruel mistress

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Arktouros

I just have an extremely difficult time imagining any court laying down that one business has to work with another. Arguing that Google or Apple’s contracts are unlawful and therefore can’t be upheld still doesn’t force them to work with you.

What I can see happening however in Google’s case is the court not forcing Google to work with Epic but absolutely tell it to stop interfering with deals that Epic is trying to make with OEMs to install an Epic store on phones from the get go. That is something actually against the law and something that should be enforced.

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Rndomuser

Google should definitely be able to dismiss the lawsuit. As an owner of Galaxy S20, I can still download the .apk of Fortnite or any other app and install it on the phone without any restrictions from Google, other than a setting that prevents you from installing apps from unknown sources which can be changed in a second by sliding the slider to disable it without modifying the stock OS or voiding warranty. I can even install third-party YouTube client which will disable all Ads in videos. Or install Fortnite from Samsung’s own app store. So while Google still does not allow developers to bypass their own payment system if developers want to distribute app through Google Play store – both developers and customers still have a choice of distributing and downloading the app through other means.

Gipfeli
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Gipfeli

you, sir, HAVE to tell me where to get that non-ad youtube app!
i will bless you with my first born child if you do!

those ads are too much for my weak heart!

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Loopy

Methinks Epic is completely overestimating the relevance of Fortnite in the far future. They clearly got a golden goose on their hands, but the goose still has a limited lifespan.

I’m not gonna pretend that i know all the ins and outs of how to run a business, but i would think that maybe they shouldn’t be placing all their bets on one product alone, and instead maybe try to figure out what made it so successful so that they can replicate it and diversify?

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Armsman

The issue for them is that they want to be able to take payments directly through their own payment system while still listing their products on Apple’s and Google’s online stores.

It goes way beyond just fortnight because if this is successful I’m sure other vendors with the ability would love to be able to effectively list their wares for free on various stores while being able to take payments directly through their own payment systems

Basically they want to have their cake and eat it too. Whether or not you think 30% is a high fee, with no fee, neither Apple or Google wouldn’t have any incentive to check or list other apps on their various storefronts.

But in the end that’s what the fight’s about.

umdiddly
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umdiddly

Good. Deal a blow to the monopolists AND decentralize software distribution on the net. I hope Epic, Apple, and Google bleed each other dry. The internet has been infected by corporate greed and it is about time they start fighting among themselves.

Gaming exists because of the independent underdogs back in the day, and it’s about time for things to get back to the origin. I’m tired of products for shareholders, or shareholders in general…

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Bruno Brito

I liked because of the end objective, but gaming had some money poured into it from way back in the day. Don’t think it was just a bunch of dreaming broken devs on garages.

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Nathan Aldana

The problem with decentralizing distribution is that also hurts small indies who cant afford to market their game the way a big platform can

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Schmidt.Capela

Very much this. Without the big stores there’s a much smaller chance the small guy will even get noticed, whereas big corporations can still spend heavily in marketing to guarantee their offerings are seen by the general public.

It’s no coincidence that many indy devs see low entry barrier stores such as Steam, Play Store, App Store, etc, as the best thing to ever happen for indy devs; yes, those stores do take a 30% cut, but without those stores an indie would reach far less potential buyers, meaning by trying to sell on their own they would get far less revenue despite retaining nearly all the money from their sales.

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Rndomuser

This is what they are actually doing. They do realize that most people eventually get tired of playing same type of game with same type of gameplay, even if it is a multiplayer PvP game where players create their own content by shooting each other. They are taking Fortnite beyond BR and potentially turning it into a product which would be fun to spend time in for wide variety of people with different preferences, including people who may get tired of PvP and just want to socialize with each other through social activities not involving PvP. Something that MMORPG developers are still unwilling to do because of their laziness or their stupidity (both the developers of PvE MMORPGs who are too stupid or too lazy to add interesting large scale PvP and developers of PvP MMORPGs who are equally stupid or lazy to add safe spaces for people to interact with each other using variety of social tools without being forced to PvP).

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Bruno Brito

Except Fortnite wasn’t a BR originally and they also aren’t giving much support to it’s original modes.

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Rndomuser

I am well aware of what Fortnite originally was. At that time Epic made a decision to abandon original gameplay idea for whatever reasons (maybe they calculated that putting most people to work on BR was most profitable at that time, I don’t know why exactly they did it but they did it and it seem like they were satisfied with their decision). Now they are trying to diversify, most likely because the Fortnite as BR has reached its peak and they want to preventively start adding other gameplay types, in whichever order that they calculated would work best for them.

In any case, it is a smart thing that they are expanding from BR to different type of gameplay, regardless of what they did in the past.

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Robert Mann

Trust, once burned, is more difficult to earn back.

Further, anyone not into Fortnite’s BR stuff isn’t going in there for movies and such either. There are many less convoluted methods to get such content…

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Bruno Brito

Like Mann said, once those bridges are burned, it’s difficult to earn those players back.

And while this may seen as them “expanding”, if their expansion comes at the expense of the former genre for the game, then i won’t hold my breath for them actually supporting their original gamers.

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Eamil

Diversify? They still refuse to support the game Fortnite originally was. And they made it permanently buy to play rather than making it f2p on launch like they said for YEARS they would.

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McGuffn

That’s a polite way of saying Epic is sitting there getting high off its own farts.

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Utakata

Eww! :(