The Epic battle of the tech giants is far from over it seems. For what now seems like an eternity to Fortnite mobile players, the world’s most successful battle royal game has long since been unavailable on Apple devices. This is of course in reference to the feud between Fortnite’s owners, Epic Games and the mobile monolith, Apple over in app monetisation. And following recent court rulings, Apple doesn’t look like changing it’s mind anytime soon.
This all comes from when Epic Games introduced their proprietary “Epic Direct Payment” system into the mobile version of Fortnite. Impacting both Google Play (so effectively all android devices) and The Apple Store, it was a ballsy move from Epic. This circumvented the heady 30% or so that each platform took from any transaction carried out via their platforms. A direct contravention of the rules, Fortnite was soon booted off 90% of the devices in the consumer market. Law suits soon followed.
And its been a real rollercoaster. Sadly, following an email exchange between Epic CEO Tim Sweeney and an Apple executive there is a lot more than water under the bridge. The email itself promises to remove all traces of Epic’s “Direct Payment” system and stick to all App Store guidelines moving forward. Scouts honour. But for Apple, its seems once bitten, twice shy,
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, looking more relaxed than he’s likely felt in some time
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney shared an e-mail that he sent to Apple Executive and Fellow Phill Schiller regarding the Fortnite iOS version, promising to adhere to all App Store guidelines going forward.
The note reads,
“Epic has asked Apple to reactive our Fortnite development account. Epic promises that it will adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release products on Apple platforms.”
“Whether Epic chooses to bring Fortnite back to iOS consumers depends on whether and where Apple updates its guidelines to provide for a level playing field between Apple In-App Purchase and other methods of payment,” the e-mail continued.
This candid appeal was sent following Apple’s public statements that seemed to indicate that Fortnite, and other Epic games would be allowed to return to the App Store. But all is not as it seems. Cue late night angry tweet from the Epi CEO,
“Apple lied,” Sweeney said in a tweet. “Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.”
Surprising absolutely no one, Apple soon rejected Epic’s request. This was demonstrated in a response from its intimidatingly well-stocked legal team, one Mark Perry of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher,
“Epic committed an intentional breach of contract, and breach of trust, by concealing code from Apple and making related misrepresentations and omissions,” the response reads
“In light of this and other statements since the court’s decision, coupled with Epic’s duplicitous conduct in the past, Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.”
What it all comes down to in the end. Rather sad, and depressingly predictable
Well then, it seems this fight is far from over. Tim Sweeney himself estimates that it could take up to 5 years or more to resolve in court once and for all. That’s on top of the year this thing has already been doing the rounds. The bottom line is of course that until then, mobile Fortnite will be consigned to the aeons of history. The losers in this feud are, as always, us. The gamers who could give not one micro-jot about how many millions of pounds these multi-billion dollar companies may or may not be making.
Love or hate Fortnite, it’s undisputedly the most popular battle royal game ever made. Fans are in their millions and this is, in my humble opinion consumerism at its absolute worst. It is categorical proof that neither Apple, nor Epic give a cockroach-coño about whether this is in fact a good thing for their users, simply where they buy their v-bucks. And to that, we couldn’t give a v-f*ck. Have a bloody word with yourselves.
Source; Tech Raptor
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020