Epic Games Sues Apple

Flogger23m

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Interesting development.

In before people compare an OS that requires a single store to an app on multiple OS. Oops, too late.
 

Shoganai

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All the cloud gaming being banned on iOS is incredibly stupid. If this in any way changes that (I know it's unrelated, but Apple is on a roll lately) I'm all for it. If it does nothing I'm switching to Android, privacy be darned. At least I can side-load things on Android.
 
D

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All the cloud gaming being banned on iOS is incredibly stupid. If this in any way changes that (I know it's unrelated, but Apple is on a roll lately) I'm all for it. If it does nothing I'm switching to Android, privacy be darned. At least I can side-load things on Android.

So move to Android if you want that experience... Why the hell does everyone want iOS to be like Android? You do realise if Apple did everything the same that you would end up with an identical experience anyway...
 
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Just referring to cloud gaming. Calm yourself.

Cloud gaming means Apple looses control of the user experience, it creates a bubble where developers can exploit the platforms users at their will.

Epic and the like are just freeloaders who think they are entitled to sell their stuff on another companies supplied platform completely for free whilst not adhering to any rules that protects the user experience at the expense of profit.
 

Shoganai

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Cloud gaming means Apple looses control of the user experience, it creates a bubble where developers can exploit the platforms users at their will.

Epic and the like are just freeloaders who think they are entitled to sell their stuff on another companies supplied platform completely for free whilst not adhering to any rules that protects the user experience at the expense of profit.
That is a ridiculous mindset, sorry. It's just cloud gaming, not human trafficking.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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All the cloud gaming being banned on iOS is incredibly stupid. If this in any way changes that (I know it's unrelated, but Apple is on a roll lately) I'm all for it. If it does nothing I'm switching to Android, privacy be darned. At least I can side-load things on Android.

I don't understand why anyone would ever want to play a game on a phone or tablet anyway.
 

Snowdog

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While Android has a much bigger global market share, the revenue from each favors Apple for the marketplace for developers.

Some of that is because iOS is better locked down, and it's harder to pirate software.
 

ChadD

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Cloud gaming means Apple looses control of the user experience, it creates a bubble where developers can exploit the platforms users at their will.

Epic and the like are just freeloaders who think they are entitled to sell their stuff on another companies supplied platform completely for free whilst not adhering to any rules that protects the user experience at the expense of profit.

Go back 15-20 years... and replace the name Apple with Microsoft.

I seem to remember everyone was quite sure it was unfair for MS to force you to use Internet Explorer... and warn you over and over if you tried using another companies product. In that case you could still technically run the other companies product... and MS still go their fingers slapped. In this case Apple is saying no you can't run on the operating system we create at all, history says that things are not going to go Apples way forever on that one. At this point with mobile basically becoming the markets current default PC category the government is going to start treating iOS (and Android) as the full fledged operating systems they are. Apple is honestly playing with fire disallowing Microsoft and Amazon from iOS. Epic may have picked the first court battle...but I am pretty sure suits from both MS and Amazon are not far behind.

Apple is headed for a government smack down at some point. Its very hard to say ios isn't an operating system in its own right and iphones and ipads are not general computing devices with enough market share where competition deserves protection.
 

odditory

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Go back 15-20 years... and replace the name Apple with Microsoft.

Apple is headed for a government smack down at some point. Its very hard to say ios isn't an operating system in its own right and iphones and ipads are not general computing devices with enough market share where competition deserves protection.
Doubt it. Problem is the government of 15-20 years ago is not the government of today. The degree to which corporations control the government now - with the three-letter federal oversight administrations stacked with former heads of the industries they're supposed to be keeping honest - well antitrust isn't really a thing anymore, they've stopped even trying to pretend. Now it's just convoluted shakedowns - to achieve a desired outcome, a big enough check is written to someone had the enough up. This is why Facebook for example has been untouchable.
 
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D

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Go back 15-20 years... and replace the name Apple with Microsoft.

I seem to remember everyone was quite sure it was unfair for MS to force you to use Internet Explorer... and warn you over and over if you tried using another companies product. In that case you could still technically run the other companies product... and MS still go their fingers slapped. In this case Apple is saying no you can't run on the operating system we create at all, history says that things are not going to go Apples way forever on that one. At this point with mobile basically becoming the markets current default PC category the government is going to start treating iOS (and Android) as the full fledged operating systems they are. Apple is honestly playing with fire disallowing Microsoft and Amazon from iOS. Epic may have picked the first court battle...but I am pretty sure suits from both MS and Amazon are not far behind.

Apple is headed for a government smack down at some point. Its very hard to say ios isn't an operating system in its own right and iphones and ipads are not general computing devices with enough market share where competition deserves protection.

Apple are not stopping them from publishing the app itself... they are rejecting it because they are trying to circumvent the entire app store infrastructure and pull Apples users away from its own services. Not to mention removing guarantees of security, data privacy etc...

Apple are well entitled to their commission by providing the actual platform to sell apps to consumers, process payments and manage the app licensing. It is no different to Steam, eBay etc...

For example if you buy an app from the app store, you can use it on any iOS device with that AppleID automatically... Epic could otherwise make you buy it on every device seperately... not to mention microtransacting the living shit out of you...
 

1_rick

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Also a monopoly for it's ecosystem. I
Well, no. There's the Amazon app store, and apparently several others in places like China. Plus, unlike iPhones, it's pretty easy to sideload. Obviously there are tradeoffs, but Google's store is not the only game in town.
 

ChadD

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Doubt it. Problem is the government of 15-20 years ago is not the government of today. The degree to which corporations control the government now - with the three-letter federal oversight administration stacked with former heads of the industries they're supposed to be keeping honest - well antitrust isn't really a thing anymore, they've stopped even trying to pretend. Now it's just convoluted shakedowns - to achieve a desired outcome, a big enough check is written to someone had the enough up. This is why Facebook for example has been untouchable.

Sad but likely very true.

Probably why Epic is trying to win some public good will to their side. I have a feeling their hoping MS and Amazon will see some public support for Epic at least from Fortnight players... and choose to bring their own cases against Apple.

Your right the thought of the US Gov breaking Apple up... or even fully forcing them to abandon their walled garden seems slim. But I could see them being forced to adopt slightly more liberal policies anyway.... I can see a ruling that would basically allow them to force Apple to allow third party payments in app... and potentially even forcing side loading on iOS. They won't go as far as they should but I have a feeling Apple will be forced to compromise somewhere at some point.
 

ChadD

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Apple are not stopping them from publishing the app itself... they are rejecting it because they are trying to circumvent the entire app store infrastructure and pull Apples users away from its own services. Not to mention removing guarantees of security, data privacy etc...

Apple are well entitled to their commission by providing the actual platform to sell apps to consumers, process payments and manage the app licensing. It is no different to Steam, eBay etc...

For example if you buy an app from the app store, you can use it on any iOS device with that AppleID automatically... Epic could otherwise make you buy it on every device seperately... not to mention microtransacting the living shit out of you...

Apple has stopped Microsoft and Amazon in the last few weeks.... they also forced Facebook to remove gaming portions of their gaming app. They are forcing a single payer experience on in app purchases. Meaning they own the os the store and the payment system... that is a lot of vertical integration... and courts tend to not go for that. It may be against their policy to use your own payment system but is it legal to do so when you are a monopoly with that type of vertical integration? We'll see. Technically it is NOT... but money and the current state of the Gov, ya it might end up being legal. lol MS, Amazon, and Facebook all have stronger cases if they decide to make them. I think the competing store on the platform being something Apple can't say no to is the winning case. (rather then payment methods on the store). In much the same way MS can't disallow competing software installs (anymore)... and phone companies are required to share lines even if they laid them.
 

EniGmA1987

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By "Bribe" Do you mean fund? Or just generally not screwing them as hard as Valve does?

Exclusives are BS, but I get the strategy. Valve has abused an effective monopoly, breaking a monopoly is a mammoth task.
"funding" a game developer publisher with a guaranteed million dollars but requiring the game must be exclusive to their platform is screwing with the market far more severely than Valve has ever done. That is not trying to break a monopoly through being better than the competition, it is straight up bribery.
 

DukenukemX

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I think there’s a big difference between Microsoft having like 90% of the PC market and Apple having like 20% of the smartphone market

just because Apple makes a lot of money doesn’t mean they’re a monopoly. Although they are the only game in town if you want Apple products.
They have 100% control of the 20% smartphone market. Not a monopoly but an oligopoly.
 

T4rd

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They have 100% control of the 20% smartphone market. Not a monopoly but an oligopoly.

Not really an oligopoly either since the remaining 80% is made up of several other manufacturers; Huawei, Samsung, LG, Moto/Lenovo, Nokia, Sony, Asus, Google, and several other smaller ones that still account for millions of phone sales a year.

Apple earned their share though through good'ol capitalism though and if people weren't ok with their tactics and strategies, then they wouldn't buy them and force them to either change or lose business and market share.
 

RanceJustice

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Just more evidence that Epic is making continuous, slimy, greedy decisions. I'm no fan of Apple, but I really can't fault them here. If you want all the benefits of distributing vs their App Store, then you follow their rules. Epic throwing a tantrum because they want to have all the benefits of the App Store but literally created a "If you don't use Apple's payment gateway, we'll give you a discount!" feature in their game's iOS version. Why did they ever think they could get away with this without protest?

Hell, Google wouldn't give them super special treatment and allow them to sidestep the rules of Google Play Store, so Epic insists every user sideload Fornite for Android! I mean, at least that's that's a fair comparison, they're not using Play or any of the benefits of Google's integrated systems etc... but its still pretty crazy as a situation. Only an app as big as Fortnite could convince non-technical players to go through the steps to manually sideload, a practice that could (for the less technically adept - we're not talking about FDroid users or those installing custom ROMs here) dramatically decrease their security and goes contrary to standard usage on the platform - all so Epic doesn't have to share even a percentage of their mobile purchases!

The greed of Epic knows no bounds and is always disguised with some distasteful faux "ethical" justification. Oh we NEED store exclusives because big bad Steam is an evil monopoly! Apple won't let us use their App Store but refuse to use the payment gateway so we don't have to give them a cut? They're anti-competitive! Like all justifications I've seen from Epic, they're without any real merit and worse, when they get away with this stuff it means real negative changes to the industry and especially how it affects the customer. Its insane that the greed of Epic is taken to such a level . Fortnite basically started the whole thing and blighted the whole damn industry. Epic didn't feel like paying the very reasonable cut that Steam and all the rest of the industry offered, so they made their own client mostly for Fortnite, originally, birthing the Store. Had Fortnite flopped or became of midding success at best, it would likely have eventually ended up on Steam, GOG and elsewhere and we wouldn't have to worry about this. However, its success meant Epic felt empowered with the "I want ALL possible the money, damn the rest " viewpoint. They could have likely continued to make an astonishing fortune if Fortnite was available on Steam, the mobile versions were distributed via Google Play and the App Store etc... all while NOT negatively affecting the industry or spawning those (myself included) who have a strong objection to their company and its platform. However, that would have meant that they'd make slightly less than all the hypothetical millions and we know that is just unacceptable. Disappointing.
 

CyberJunk

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So are apps not allowed to have in -game currency on ios ? Fornite was a free game download so Apple was never getting their 30% from Epic? I don't see how apple can win this?
 

1_rick

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So are apps not allowed to have in -game currency on ios ? Fornite was a free game download so Apple was never getting their 30% from Epic? I don't see how apple can win this?

Sure, games can have in game currency on iOS. And Apple gets 30% of everything you spend.
 

TheGeekFreek

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I really hope EPIC loses all their fuck-you money from this and gets banned from all platforms.
That fortnite shit can die in a fire, and EPIC is not the robinhood they think they are, they are just scum that is jealous of the scummy things everyone else did first and wants to make people that believe they because they are less worse that that translates somehow into better, while ignoring the fact that they dont have an established anything.
 

Snowdog

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Unfortunately this will not go very far. What we need is co sumers voting with their bloody wallets ***if*** they don't like what apple is doing.

Reality is the contrary. If apple is behemoth, it's their consumers who have made it that.

Fairness FTW, vote taco 2020!!!

How is Apple charging for iDevice app store access different than Microsoft and Sony charging for PS4/Xbox store/disk access?
 

EniGmA1987

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There's a fee for store access on apple?!
There is a fee on Apple app store, google app store, Microsoft store, Sony store, Steam, Origin, Epic Game Store, etc etc. This is how they both maintain the marketplace, make a profit, and further development.
Epic is suing for being removed because they agreed to the fee and then tried to actively circumvent it to keep all the profit for themselves. So Google and Apple removed the game that was in violation from their marketplaces.
 

Ready4Dis

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For developers. 30% of whatever they charge for the application or in app purchases. You know the fee that Epic tried to get around and is now suing over.
To be fair, 30% share of a digital add-on purchase does seem a little excessive. But, when you have a large market without competition, you can charge whatever you want. I don't think they'll be successful, especially against Google who does allow other stores and/or side loading. Apple disallows both, so you literally have zero options (even if they were bad options as in the case of Android). Will be interesting to see how long they stick it out and if it actually goes to court.
 

Axman

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So Apple requires a 30 percent cut of profits in order to allow devs access to their otherwise completely blocked off environment, and there are people trying to argue that's not a monopoly?

Putting things into perspective, Microsoft was charged with making Windows a monopoly when they baked Internet Explorer into the OS.

You're not even allowed to change the browser on IOS.
 

blackmomba

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So Apple requires a 30 percent cut of profits in order to allow devs access to their otherwise completely blocked off environment, and there are people trying to argue that's not a monopoly?

Putting things into perspective, Microsoft was charged with making Windows a monopoly when they baked Internet Explorer into the OS.

You're not even allowed to change the browser on IOS.

I have to agree here. I'm actually surprised the sentiment is so one sided.

At 30% of every transaction, the model has paid for itself many, many times over. There's no easy solution, but I think Epic actually challenging the status quo is ballsy and could be beneficial.

Yes they built it, yes it belongs to Apple and they can do whatever they want. I still think Apple and Google need to have a little more self awareness and drop the cut a little. 10% maybe? 30%... my bookie takes less.
 

cybereality

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You're not even allowed to change the browser on IOS.
Well, Firefox (and other browsers) do exist on iOS, but Apple forces them to use WebKIt. So they are basically just wrappers around Safari.
 
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GoodBoy

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Epic is suing both Apple and Google play stores.

They are suing because each store takes a % of all in-app transactions. Fortnight is billions a year, Apple and Google getting a piece of it. Epic doesn't want to pay it, so in violation of their agreements with both stores, they built an in-app payment process that bypasses the Apple and Google stores, therefore Apple and Google getting nothing of those sales. Result: Both Apple and Google pulled the app. Epic put it in their app knowing it violated the terms of service they have with each store. Now they are suing because their app is offline (or at least no longer in the store).

Fuck Epic...
 

Snowdog

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To be fair, 30% share of a digital add-on purchase does seem a little excessive. But, when you have a large market without competition, you can charge whatever you want. I don't think they'll be successful, especially against Google who does allow other stores and/or side loading. Apple disallows both, so you literally have zero options (even if they were bad options as in the case of Android). Will be interesting to see how long they stick it out and if it actually goes to court.

Who exactly determines what is excessive? Before digital distribution, You would have counted yourself damn lucky to get the 30%, let alone 70%. If I develop and app, I would be delighted with the 70%/30% split. It looks like 30% is just about the going rate everywhere for mostly all the digital distribution channels. Epic has a much lower cut since their are trying to break into the business. I didn't see anyone rushing to join them in lowering the cut.

The Folks at GOG had a posting that they were concerned about their survival if the Epic store rates catch on. That implies that 30% may be close to what it takes run an App store and make a healthy profit. Remember App stores aren't a public service. They are a "for profit" service.

If you start messing around and making in app purchases cheaper than app purchase itself. Then everything will switch to in app purchases.
 

Ready4Dis

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Who exactly determines what is excessive? Before digital distribution, You would have counted yourself damn lucky to get the 30%, let alone 70%. If I develop and app, I would be delighted with the 70%/30% split. It looks like 30% is just about the going rate everywhere for mostly all the digital distribution channels. Epic has a much lower cut since their are trying to break into the business. I didn't see anyone rushing to join them in lowering the cut.

The Folks at GOG had a posting that they were concerned about their survival if the Epic store rates catch on. That implies that 30% may be close to what it takes run an App store and make a healthy profit. Remember App stores aren't a public service. They are a "for profit" service.

If you start messing around and making in app purchases cheaper than app purchase itself. Then everything will switch to in app purchases.
I didn't mean anyone has to agree, I just feel taking a 30% cut for almost no work (let's be honest, buying digital currency isn't really doing much work for apple). Steam is distributing the game, but how much does steam take from in game transaction? It's 15% and then it's not even required just offered. This is the difference, it's optional and it's 1/2 the cost. So I disagree with your assessment of 30% is the norm. Steam is the largest platform and it's 1/2 the cost with you having the option to use it or not. Heck steam will happily install Ubisoft launcher/platform from their store. Apple forbids competition and locks you into everything. I don't know if it would be proven legal or not, just Apple charging you more with fewer (zero) options.

For profit sure, so is every business, but that doesn't mean you can just do what you want and nobody can/will question your ethics or market lock out tactics. Just as I did not support the Nvidia GPP, or Microsoft forcing IE, or Intel paying vendors to not use AMD. Just because apple does something doesn't mean I have to agree and support it, same as any other company.
All this said, I don't think Epic is totally drama free either and does their own fair share of shady stuff, but if we accept it as the norm, we (consumers) are the ones that lose.
 

Snowdog

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So Apple requires a 30 percent cut of profits in order to allow devs access to their otherwise completely blocked off environment, and there are people trying to argue that's not a monopoly?

Putting things into perspective, Microsoft was charged with making Windows a monopoly when they baked Internet Explorer into the OS.

You seem rather confused about what "monopoply" means.

Microsoft wasn't "charged with making Windows a monopoly when they baked Internet Explorer into the OS."

Microsoft had a monopoly on computers used to connect to internet. Consistently in excess of 90% world wide. So realistically Microsoft was nearly the ONLY way to connect to the internet. There was NO viable option for most people.

So Microsoft was then charged with abusing that obvious monopoly position, by giving a unique advantage to their own browser software.

This seems to show Apple at consistently under 50% of the market for smartphones in the USA:
https://www.counterpointresearch.com/us-market-smartphone-share/

That's no where near the 90%+ monopoly that Microsoft held. It's pretty hard to argue you have no viable smart phone options.
 

Aireoth

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A closed eco system that both provides the hardware and software should be allowed to do as it pleases. I don't see how Epic has a chance.
 

Axman

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You seem rather confused about what "monopoply" means.

Sorry, that's not the case. Anyway, here's a synopsis of the decision which sets a bar for the courts consider monopolistic practices from Wikipedia:

United States v. Microsoft Corporation, 253 F.3d 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001),[1] was a noted American antitrust law case in which the U.S. government accused Microsoft of illegally maintaining its monopoly position in the PC market primarily through the legal and technical restrictions it put on the abilities of PC manufacturers (OEMs) and users to uninstall Internet Explorer and use other programs such as Netscape and Java. At trial, the district court ruled that Microsoft's actions constituted unlawful monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed most of the district court's judgments.

The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft had abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers in its handling of operating system and web browser integration. The issue central to the case was whether Microsoft was allowed to bundle its flagship Internet Explorer (IE) web browser software with its Windows operating system. Bundling them is alleged to have been responsible for Microsoft's victory in the browser wars as every Windows user had a copy of IE.

Market share of the total user space isn't necessary for there to be a monopoly. This goes back to the company town analogy where a business runs a closed system that includes rent, utilities, services, and pay for its employees. You don't have to own a majority of towns in America to run an illegal monopoly. You can run a town with 10 people and still create an illegal system.

"The plaintiffs alleged that Microsoft had abused monopoly power on Intel-based personal computers." Apple owns an even bigger share of IOS-based phones; a complete share.

It's not about alternative platforms, and it's not about Epic's other practices.

If it was a monopoly when Microsoft made it hard to use IE alternatives, then it's a monopoly when Apple makes it nearly impossible to use third-party software of any kind without approval.
 
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