Epic v Apple: Emails are forever, leaks are inevitable


As we noted yesterday, the Epic v. Apple trial got underway this week and has already been offering up some choice nuggets, though less in the form of the typical popcorn drama we’ve come to expect from this showdown and more in the form of industry bombs and financial figures. Let’s peek at the highlights from yesterday.

First, this trial is leaking like a sieve. For example, internal documents submitted as evidence in the legal proceedings have literally leaked the fact that Walmart has apparently been working on a cloud gaming service. What?

According to IGN’s Rebekah Valentine, it’s become a massive problem for the trial as third-party companies are mad that their confidential documents are being offered into the testimony and and then tossed online in the clear so everyone can look. That Sony slip yesterday? That was also apparently not supposed to be released to the public, which is bizarre, since it was something everyone already knew about PlayStation. It’s caused the trial to grind to a halt several times and the judge to grumble about things she’d ordered sealed getting leaked. The most notable moment came when point the judge said she had “received — I don’t know what, ten? — motions from third parties asking me to seal information” – but not about one that turned out to be regarding Paradox Interactive.

Apparently, Epic attempted to talk Xbox into a subscription-free multiplayer option, in general and for Fortnite, in 2020. As Gamasutra notes, it was a pretty big request from Epic’s Tim Sweeney, and Xbox’s Phil Spencer seemed amenable.

Less kind to Sweeney is the release of an email from 2015 wherein Sweeney casually asked Apple’s Tim Cook to fundamentally alter the entire AppStore configuration. “Is this the guy that was at one of our rehearsals?” Cook emailed to colleagues.

It gets worse: Another email from 2019 shows Tim Sweeney prostrating himself before Ubisoft executives, apologizing for scammers scooping up bajillions of copies of The Division 2 leading to 70-90% fraud rates. Just a PSA here: Emails are forever; never type anything you wouldn’t mind seeing in live court later.

Finally, at one point, the judge allowed the boss of a yoga app to testify in regard to non-game apps on the AppStore, so that happened.

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