Over the last several days I’ve been back and forth on how I feel about this controversial subject. I’ve done some reading to gather different opinions and as you might imagine there are many differing opinions.
First, let me start with the fact that I’m a consumer of Apple products. I love my Apple gear. One of the reasons I left Android and Google for Apple was their stance on user privacy and security.
So, what is this about?
ARS Technica — Kyle Orland — 8/14/2020
Yesterday, Epic used Fortnite to essentially wage open war against Apple’s and Google’s mobile app marketplaces. First it added a discounted “Epic Direct Payment” option alongside the standard iOS App Store and Google Play payment options in Fortnite, in direct violation of those stores’ policies. Then, when Fortnite was predictably removed from both platforms, Epic filed lawsuits against both companies, alleging “anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices” in the mobile app marketplace.
On mobile platforms, Epic is calling the 30 percent app marketplace fee “exorbitant” and says it wants to offer a more direct payment solution so it can “pass along the savings to players.”
At the most basic level, we’re fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly.
I call bullshit on Epic. This was a setup pure and simple. Why? They don’t want to pay the 30% to Apple and Google.
As I started reading about this, I thought Epic was a struggling developer fighting to stay alive. I found out that they are anything but that. Epic isn’t some small, struggling developer. Fortnite is one of the top-grossing apps on iOS, making $455 million in 2018 alone. According to Forbes Epic brought in an estimated $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019 and Tim Sweeney CEO has a net worth of $5.3B as of August 16, 2020.
Let’s do the math. In 2018 Fortnight grossed $455 million on the iOS App Store. 30% of that is $136.5 million if my math is correct. Get the picture here. This is Apple, Google, and Epic fighting over a lot of money and not the consumer or struggling small developer as Epic would have us think.
A sarcastic YouTube take by Jim Sterling:
Screw Apple, Screw Google, And Screw Epic Games
Fortnite started trying to see virtual currency directly, ignoring the mandatory payment processes that give Apple and Google their cuts on iOS and Android. It’s a gigantic fight over money that Epic has more or less staged, and while Apple and Google take huge cuts from developers, there is no way Epic should be seen as a hero — especially with the tasteless way in which it’s performing said “heroics.