With the Fortnite/Apple lawsuit only escalating, Epic Games’ CEO continues to defend his company’s decision to fight back.
Ever since Apple removed Fortnite from its storefront, prompting a lawsuit from developer and publisher Epic Games, the antagonism between the two companies has only escalated.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has been very vocal with his displeasure towards both Apple and Google, with the latter also removing Fortnite from its app store.
In an interview with NPR, he accuses the two of exploiting not just Epic Games, but other developers too, by charging a 30% fee for any purchases made in their app stores.
‘It’s not just Epic being exploited by Apple, but it’s every developer who goes along with that scheme colluding with Apple and Google to further their monopoly,’ says Sweeney.
‘These stores are making a lot more money from creative works than the creators.’
Epic Games isn’t the only one opposed to Apple and Google’s 30% fee, with plenty others requesting that it be lowered, which Sweeney believes supports his claims.
‘It’s not that Epic looked at articles about investigations of these companies and decided that now’s the time to act,’ he continues.
‘It’s the same bad behaviour by Apple and Google that’s driving everybody to the common conclusion that these monopolies need to be stopped.’
Sweeney also seems convinced that these 30% fees could extend to future technologies, stating that it will result in ‘one of the worst dystopias you can imagine,’ which suggests he hasn’t got a very good imagination.
In fact, it needs to be noted that it’s rather ironic for Sweeney to criticise corporate monopolies when he himself is in charge of one and is not exactly an underdog fighting against ‘the man’.
As of August 2020, Epic Games is reportedly worth more than $17 billion (over £13 billion). Sweeney himself owns thousands of acres of land in North Carolina, making him one of the largest private landowners in the state.
Apple and Google initially removed Fortnite from their app stores because they believed Epic Games violated their terms of services by offering Fortnite’s in-game currency at a discount, with any payments bypassing Apple and Google and going directly to Epic.
Apple and Google have defended the 30% fee for any in-app purchases, explaining that it helps support staff who make sure apps are safe and secure on their respective devices.
Apple has even fired back against Sweeney, accusing Epic Games of simply wanting special treatment and calling it a ‘multi-billion-dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing.’
While a judge ruled that Apple could not block Epic’s access to Unreal Engine, a move which would have prevented Epic from updating any games that were made using the engine, Fortnite does not have to be reinstated on the Apple store for the time being.
Since then, Epic filed a second motion for Fortnite to be updated to Season 4, which mobile players are unable to play due to the game’s removal.
Apple has also launched a counter lawsuit against Epic Games for breaching its contract and is seeking damages.
Fortnite is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
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