Epic Games Sues Apple

Ocellaris

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Not a fan of this move by Epic. I spent money on VBucks in iOS, didn't use them, now those VBucks are gone. VBucks you earn in game are available on every platform. VBucks you purchase on a platform are locked to that platform, this isn’t immediately clear when purchasing VBucks...

Epic could just give me free VBucks to replace the missing fake money, but nope they want me to get a refund from Apple...

Since this is a problem if Epic’s own making, I can’t see myself spending more money on the Epic Store / Fortnite again. I’m fine if Epic wants to go after Apple, they should find a way to not screw over their customers first though.

Took three months, however Epic finally figured out they should give people VBucks to replace what they purchased on iOS:

0CDDD5AB-05FA-48D6-9F78-69BFBCEBDCA5.png


Good move to get this figured out before the PS5 and XBox Series X|S launch.
 

cybereality

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Apple must be hurting if they are trying to bring Valve into this.

If Epic wins, this will be huge. Not sure if it's really a good versus bad, but I think a shakeup might be beneficial to developers.
 

Lakados

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Apple must be hurting if they are trying to bring Valve into this.

If Epic wins, this will be huge. Not sure if it's really a good versus bad, but I think a shakeup might be beneficial to developers.
Not so much hurting but Epic is claiming that Apples cut is outrageous, Apples defence is that’s it’s the industry standard. So they are trying to get the numbers from the largest store to corroborate that statement. It’s a pretty standard request, but I am not surprised they are willing to share their data.
 

sc5mu93

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Not so much hurting but Epic is claiming that Apples cut is outrageous, Apples defence is that’s it’s the industry standard. So they are trying to get the numbers from the largest store to corroborate that statement. It’s a pretty standard request, but I am not surprised they are willing to share their data.
As discussed in the article, deciding these types of cases requires defining the market place. Apple wants to define the digital download market based on valve's numbers to show they don't have monopoly power. Valve (correctly IMO) is responding "we don't even participate in Apple's market, so our numbers are irrelevant."

It's not about the cut, it's about the size of Apple's influence. If they can drag valve in they increase the market size in the eyes of the court and, they don't look like a monopolist squeezing the little guy.
 

cybereality

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The difference is that on PC (well Windows and Linux, at least) I can buy or download games from anywhere.

As a developer, I could host on Valve, Epic, GoG, Itch.io, even my own web server if I like. With Apple it is either the Apple way or the highway.
 

Lakados

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As discussed in the article, deciding these types of cases requires defining the market place. Apple wants to define the digital download market based on valve's numbers to show they don't have monopoly power. Valve (correctly IMO) is responding "we don't even participate in Apple's market, so our numbers are irrelevant."

It's not about the cut, it's about the size of Apple's influence. If they can drag valve in they increase the market size in the eyes of the court and, they don't look like a monopolist squeezing the little guy.
In either event, I've got my MDM prepped for the event Apple loses, if they lose and they have to open up the platform then I have to lock them down to the same extent I am required to for Android devices which is going to suck.
 

UnknownSouljer

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The difference is that on PC (well Windows and Linux, at least) I can buy or download games from anywhere.

As a developer, I could host on Valve, Epic, GoG, Itch.io, even my own web server if I like. With Apple it is either the Apple way or the highway.
This is inaccurate. It's the same on macOS as well. You can choose to download and play any game wherever you want on a Mac. Or more to the point any piece of software from anywhere you want on a Mac. So if you're going to make comparisons, then at least be comparing Apples to Apples.

This is iOS, which would be compared of course directly to Android. Not to Windows or Linux.
 

cybereality

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Apple implemented code signing on macOS apps about a year ago, I believe. So far I don't think they have blocked anything, but they are building the infrastructure to lock it down just like iOS.
 

UnknownSouljer

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Apple implemented code signing on macOS apps about a year ago, I believe. So far I don't think they have blocked anything, but they are building the infrastructure to lock it down just like iOS.
That means precisely zero. Or are you also saying that because Windows has UAC that they intend to lock down the operating system like iOS? Because functionally that's the same argument.
Again, straight to the point: compare like for like. Not even close to the same thing.
 

KazeoHin

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I hate Apple. I think we should be taxing corporations more.

But Apple's store is Apple's store, they can charge whatever cut they want, and your choice is to NOT put your product on their store. There's Steam, Google Play, Windows Apps, lots of other places to sell your wares. Would I prefer if it were smaller? Yes, but I also understand that it's entirely up to Apple.
 

cybereality

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Where do we draw the line? If you buy a Samsung phone you can only use Samsung Store? Is that okay cause they made the phone?

What if Microsoft said they release Windows 11 and you can only use Microsoft Store, no exe files anymore. So no Steam, no GoG, no Origin or Epic Store. Is that okay because it's their OS?
 

Shoganai

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Where do we draw the line? If you buy a Samsung phone you can only use Samsung Store? Is that okay cause they made the phone?

What if Microsoft said they release Windows 11 and you can only use Microsoft Store, no exe files anymore. So no Steam, no GoG, no Origin or Epic Store. Is that okay because it's their OS?
In Apple's case they make both the hardware and the software and can do as they like, but it's still annoying that we can't sideload things like Android ... but that's also a feature of their security. Those other platforms are more open because they have to be.
 

Tsumi

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This is inaccurate. It's the same on macOS as well. You can choose to download and play any game wherever you want on a Mac. Or more to the point any piece of software from anywhere you want on a Mac. So if you're going to make comparisons, then at least be comparing Apples to Apples.

This is iOS, which would be compared of course directly to Android. Not to Windows or Linux.

Except Android does have the capability to install from external sources and the user has the ability to download and install additional app stores, i.e. Amazon Appstore. I am not aware of any Android phone maker that locks you exclusively into their app store.
 

vegeta535

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It is funny that my company recently released a app that they want us to enable developer mode and doable securities to install their app from their website. The email even show the get it on google play and app store. When they are not on either. The company is so hardcore about security and they want us to disable securities to installed their shitty app. I don't know how google and apple handle a app that is free but I assume there is still cost associated with it hence they trying to bypass the stores.
 

Mystique

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Except Android does have the capability to install from external sources and the user has the ability to download and install additional app stores, i.e. Amazon Appstore. I am not aware of any Android phone maker that locks you exclusively into their app store.
Starting from Android 11, the \Android\Data directory is unable to be modified in any meaningful capacity, meaning that for many apps where you need to modify configs or localdata, you're SOL. Setting up Kodi on my phone would've been straight up impossible if I wasn't a dev.

There was a time when Android was better, but that gap is closing fast.

That being said, 30% for an app store is highway robbery. I hope Epic wins, and I hope Valve, and Android get sued too; as well as any gatekeeping monopoly e-store, until we have reasonable regulations for electronic commerce. E-purchases shouldn't be treated like 'standard rate market', because there's no transport of goods of any kind, and it's completely automatic with no physical purchase. The old school 30% included freight, processing, handling, risk, damage... what is their work liability now? Basically zero. 30% to apple, 15%+ to the government, it's easy to see why companies are starting to look for ways around that BS and why Apple is being sued.
 
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cybereality

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I mostly agree, but there are still costs to running an online store front. Server capacity, bandwidth, development and maintenance costs, in many cases the store owner also advertises the product. For example, many big apps continued to get bigger due to being featured by Apple.

So they are providing a service, but maybe 30% is a bit much. That said, I would be okay with Apple charging 30% if they allowed other stores (and I don't mean by hacking the phone, like an easy approved method to download software from the user's choice).
 

deruberhanyok

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Apple implemented code signing on macOS apps about a year ago, I believe. So far I don't think they have blocked anything, but they are building the infrastructure to lock it down just like iOS.

Hey, if you're going to spread FUD about Apple locking down MacOS, make sure you include Windows in that, too.

Windows 10 "S mode" is restricted to Microsoft Store apps only. So is Windows on ARM. So Microsoft clearly has the capability to do so, and is even enforcing it on some versions of their OS already.

Gatekeeper on MacOS is the same way - Apple could enforce it and block applications from outside sources, but they don't.

This isn't a uniquely Apple capability.

Will Microsoft or Apple eventually put similar restrictions on standard Windows & MacOS? I'd hope not, given the typically "open" (not open source, but open use) nature of traditional desktop computing operating systems.

But it's possible the ruling in this case will play a big part in the future development of any commercial OS.
 

cybereality

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You're right, Microsoft has been doing this too, they aren't exempt.

But I think Microsoft values backwards compatibility, I seriously doubt they would block exe files on the base Windows edition. This would cause a huge backlash.

They started moving in this direction with UWP, which I don't like or support. Not trying to say it's only Apple, but Apple has definitely been more strong armed in the past and less susceptible to user feedback.
 

AaronGant

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This is inaccurate. It's the same on macOS as well. You can choose to download and play any game wherever you want on a Mac. Or more to the point any piece of software from anywhere you want on a Mac. So if you're going to make comparisons, then at least be comparing Apples to Apples.

This is iOS, which would be compared of course directly to Android. Not to Windows or Linux.

I thought that was kind of the point cybereality was making, PCs (running windows / linux / macos) are different than iOS and the methods software is available to them. Valve's store is in the PC market and not iOS, and the differences between the two platforms are enough to maybe make comparing apple's appstore to valve's store's sales data irrelevant. If apple want's to compare their closed iOS market to valve's store isn't it also fair to compare the differences in what those markets serve?
 

cybereality

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Yeah, I could have included macOS, doesn't really affect the point I was making: in that developers have no control or options on iOS (even Android is somewhat restricted) compared to open platforms like desktop PC.
 

Ranulfo

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Valve, the makers behind popular game distribution platform Steam, will be forced to hand over aggregate historical sales, price, and other information on 436 games hosted on the store to Apple, as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust case.

As reported in a paywalled report by Law360, during a virtual discovery hearing on Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered that Apple's subpoena for the data to Valve was valid, however, noted that Apple has "salted the earth with subpoenas," telling Valve "don’t worry, it’s not just you." Apple's original subpoena requested data from Valve about Steam dating as far back as 2015, the judge's ruling however will only require Valve to produce data limited to as early as 2017.

Crazy. Just hand over your trade secrets as it were of negotiated prices/contracts and sales numbers. Well, only for 436 games... for now anyway. If only this judge had the guts to do this for other industries.
 

Lakados

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looks like Judge partially sided with Apple against Valve. What a shitshow.
https://www.macrumors.com/2021/02/25/valve-apple-data-request-for-epic-games-case/
Well it's a valid defense, PC has the most competition for software availability and Valve is #1, and if they charge 30% likely actually more despite that competition then Apple's and Google's cut of 30% is 100% valid and Epic's entire case goes up in smoke and we can just move on.

At this point I really do believe that Epic is hoping for the best but already preparing for the worst I have heard rumors that they are contemplating a monthly subscription and having in-game purchases instead redirect to their website where the purchases are actually made.
 

noko

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Off hand it looks like EPIC jumped the gun on this and did not have things ready. I hate the Epic store and having some games on it is frustrating. Steam has so much more over EPIC, forums, rewards, developers in the forums, hardware, videos, reviews, artwork, images, stats, linux support. . . I rather pay more for what Steam actually delivers than EPIC's white box with nothing inside. For me, I get more from Steam for the money.
 
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