Apples Epic dust-up

Playing hard ball

The worlds favourite computer game is taking on the worlds biggest technology firm

 



 

Aug 22nd 2020 | words 393

 

 

 

IT WAS A surgical operation worthy of the best Fortnite players. On August 13th Epic Games goaded Apple into booting its hit game from the App Store. Within an hour of Apples decision, Epic launched an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant. Epics slick parody of Apples famous 1984 advert now cast its enemy as the oppressive, grey Big Brother.

 

Epics provocation was to offer users alternative payment methods for in-game goodies. Those who bought 1,000 V-Bucks, the games internal currency, via the App Store would cough up $9.99. Buy directly from Epic, which would thus avoid the 30% cut that Apple takes from every in-app transaction, and you pay $7.99. This dodge violates the App Stores rules, hence the expulsion. The same day Fortnite was removed from Googles Play Store, which serves users of Android phones, for the same reason.

 

At issue is the tight grip Apple exerts over its devices. The firm tries to ensure that the App Store is the only way for iPhone users to obtain software. This, Apple says, keeps apps kosher and secure. Critics allege that it stifles competition and allows Apple to hold app-sellers over a barrel. Unlike owners of Apple phones, Android users can buy software, including Fortnite, from various vendors, limiting Googles power; in 2018 Epic launched its own web-based store for PC games, where it takes a 12% cut from developers.

 

App developers and companies from Airbnb to Match Group have had run-ins with Apple similar to Epics. Complaints from Spotify, a music-streaming service, and Kobo, which makes an e-book reader, have led to an EU antitrust probe. Shortly after Epic launched its lawsuit, Spotify and Match voiced their support for it. Epic claimed that a ban on Fortnite would threaten dozens of other iPhone games that have licensed its code.

 

On August 17th Apple said the App Store would welcome Fortnite back if Epic shelved its payments ploy. Tim Sweeney, Epics feisty boss, is unlikely to give up that easily.

 

 








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Economist | Epic Games takes on Apple

 

 

Apples Epic dust-up

Playing hard ball

The worlds favourite computer game is taking on the worlds biggest technology firm

 



 

Aug 22nd 2020 | words 393

 

 

 

IT WAS A surgical operation worthy of the best Fortnite players. On August 13th Epic Games goaded Apple into booting its hit game from the App Store. Within an hour of Apples decision, Epic launched an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant. Epics slick parody of Apples famous 1984 advert now cast its enemy as the oppressive, grey Big Brother.

 

Epics provocation was to offer users alternative payment methods for in-game goodies. Those who bought 1,000 V-Bucks, the games internal currency, via the App Store would cough up $9.99. Buy directly from Epic, which would thus avoid the 30% cut that Apple takes from every in-app transaction, and you pay $7.99. This dodge violates the App Stores rules, hence the expulsion. The same day Fortnite was removed from Googles Play Store, which serves users of Android phones, for the same reason.

 

At issue is the tight grip Apple exerts over its devices. The firm tries to ensure that the App Store is the only way for iPhone users to obtain software. This, Apple says, keeps apps kosher and secure. Critics allege that it stifles competition and allows Apple to hold app-sellers over a barrel. Unlike owners of Apple phones, Android users can buy software, including Fortnite, from various vendors, limiting Googles power; in 2018 Epic launched its own web-based store for PC games, where it takes a 12% cut from developers.

 

App developers and companies from Airbnb to Match Group have had run-ins with Apple similar to Epics. Complaints from Spotify, a music-streaming service, and Kobo, which makes an e-book reader, have led to an EU antitrust probe. Shortly after Epic launched its lawsuit, Spotify and Match voiced their support for it. Epic claimed that a ban on Fortnite would threaten dozens of other iPhone games that have licensed its code.

 

On August 17th Apple said the App Store would welcome Fortnite back if Epic shelved its payments ploy. Tim Sweeney, Epics feisty boss, is unlikely to give up that easily.

 

 








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