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Apple Removes Fortnite From The App Store

ngon master
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sacboi ngon master
Apple has removed Epic Games’ battle royale game Fortnite from the App Store after the developer on Thursday implemented its own in-app payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard 30 percent fee...

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  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis high dynamic range
    30% fee is mad crazy.
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz ngon master
    Afaik, giving a 30% cut of proceeds to the platform holder is standard in the industry. Steam does it, and I believe MS and Sony do as well.
  • Shrike
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    Shrike interpolator
    yes its standard and its cutthroat and that's why basically everyone big is leaving as much as they can to make their own launchers and platforms

    (On a Console I understand, its highly selective, there is actual promotion and direct support from the Console creators, the Hardware basically is only repaid through game sales, big difference)
  • fdfxd2
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    fdfxd2 greentooth
    ZacD said:
    The 30% cut is a relic from the days of physical sales. A 5-7% cut is enough to break even according to Tim Sweeny and Epic seems to do a lot more for consumers and developers with 12%.

    This obviously has been a long time coming and an intentionally rebellious and theatric act and I'm here for it.

    yes but fortnite bad so I have to side with Apple, I'm sorry.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Seems as though google has followed suit on play:
    Whilst curiously at the same time fortnite is still available via the Galaxy store (Samsung devices). Although, personally not necessarily a fan of the game per-se but really, this 30% fee both vendors continue to enforce in today's marketplace from my perspective should well and truly I'm afraid, be consigned too history where it belongs...my 2¢     
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    Epic has done some partnerships and deals with Samsung and other phone brands. Google also stopped Epic from paying OnePlus to have Fortnite preinstalled on their phones by threatening to remove Fortnite from the Play Store.

    Makes sense to stick with Apple and Google for now, but if Epic wins, it'll be really interesting to see if anyone tries to go after consoles next.
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi interpolator
    ZacD said:
    Epic has done some partnerships and deals with Samsung and other phone brands. Google also stopped Epic from paying OnePlus to have Fortnite preinstalled on their phones by threatening to remove Fortnite from the Play Store.

    Makes sense to stick with Apple and Google for now, but if Epic wins, it'll be really interesting to see if anyone tries to go after consoles next.
    Consoles will be difficult to target, because they're not anything close to a monopoly as most of the same games come out on PC.


    But it's a very reasonable assessment that Apple and Google hold a monopoly over smart devices.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Results of my own latest tracking on this issue, would suggest Epic's ongoing efficacy underpinning it's court challenge in regard too both Apple & Google's current dominant position is definitely not without merit, as console giant, Sony's 2018 ultimate capitulation to enable cross-platform gaming via their ecosystem, predominantly illustrates:

    Sony’s cross-platform beta for Fortnitelaunching today — feels like a white flag flown in the face of the future. The PlayStation platform was the last holdout on cross-play, fighting the idea that software is more powerful than hardware. But right now, nothing is more powerful than Fortnite.
    “We have no plans to announce at this point, but our goal remains to take a more open stance with cross-platform support that’s aligned with our mission to deliver the best consumer experience,” Sony told Polygon in a statement.
    So given the above example, it's reasonable to assume a positive indicator for the company going forward and may I say countless indie developers as well. Hence personal interest upon a finalized conclusion, either way:

    Epic Games has gone up against large tech companies in the past, but its antitrust litigation will be different. It’s looking to change the policies of companies that solidified themselves as market leaders in the industry, and neither Apple nor Google will want to let go of that. This litigation has a much larger scope than any of the other challenges that Epic Games has faced, like the Sony faceoff. Likewise, Epic Games is the “underdog,” if you can call it that. Although it’s valued at more than $17 billion, that’s significantly overshadowed by the trillion-dollar market capitalization of Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Apple.

    “Epic is going at the heart of the App Store monopoly, as well as Google’s comparable monopoly over the sale of Android apps,” Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director at anti-monopoly research and advocacy group Open Markets Institute, told Polygon. “It’s challenging the practices by which [Apple and Google] acquired this dominant position and tried to leverage this dominant position into new markets. This is a major lawsuit.”

    Vaheesan said Epic Games’ lawyers presented “detailed factual allegations” that rely on “strong legal theories,” which bodes well for the company. Epic isn’t asking the court to rewrite antitrust law as it stands — instead, it’s asking a judge to just enforce the law as it exists. It’s different, in that way, from the antitrust hearing in Congress last month, where government officials discussed potential changes to market power rules. (Epic’s lawsuit, however, is still important in that if Epic wins, it’ll make it clear that Apple’s and Google’s practices are illegal, and then those companies will be forced to change their practices.)


  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 14
    I wonder what's to stop Epic from making their own phone and doing the same thing? 30% is pretty steep, but to be fair, Apple built the platform and was able to successfully market their technology. If I develop a device that is popular, am I obligated to allow anyone to sell software on it?
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    With iOS and Android, they are general computing platforms. Basically the equivalent to Windows to certain age groups, demographics, and countries. Don't forget Microsoft has faced lawsuits over their own platform. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft_Corp.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp._v._Commission

    One of the big issues I see is Apple is making competitors to products that already exist on the Apple Store (Ads Apple TV+, Apple Music), but Apple/Google have a huge advantaged of not having to give a 30% cut away on top of everything. Companies like Netflix and Spotify operate with tiny margins, those apps currently either make deals with Apple/Google, which smaller companies could not do, or they try to skirt around the rules and get away with things smaller apps can't. The rules that Apple and Google impose limit what Epic can do on their own stores and on other platforms, which seems so far over reaching, and an abuse of power. Those types of limitations might be okay in a partnership situation, but obviously Apple and Google aren't partners, they're gatekeepers and governing bodies of platforms that 80% of the developed world uses. 
  • Ryusaki
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    Ryusaki polycounter lvl 4
    I hope that Epic and Microsoft and all the others who go against Apple win overwhelmingly and crush Apple.
    Apple deserves a boot in the face for being obnoxious hypocrites who produce expensive crap.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: 
    https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/epic-v-apple-8-17-20-768927327.pdf
    https://twitter.com/EpicNewsroom/status/1295430127455596544

    Sounds like Apple based Unreal Engine devs wont be able to develop/update games for iOS/Mac.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Well, that's an interesting escalation although not wholly unexpected, to be honest.

    Fundamentally at it's core, a rapacious tactic and let's be clear here was intentionally deployed too explicitly bully consumer compliance which in this case (pun notwithstanding : P) describes a stark prosaic sense, that Epic is publicly being hung out to 'dry' as an example.

    EDIT:
    Similarly, though a tad off topic. Alphabet - Google isn't above leveraging their own oppressive strategy to advance sweeping end user aligned concurrence. An open letter released today, markedly spells out what can be effectively termed as a *warning* for those residing downunder:

    In the letter, Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva said the code would severely impact Google and its subsidiary YouTube.

    "A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia," the letter said.

    "The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of businesses — news media businesses — over everyone else who has a website, YouTube channel or small business.

    (...as an aussie, a relevant turn of events, indeed)
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Update - Judge in Apple v. Epic Case Sides With Apple on Fortnite and Unreal Engine
    Right when the hearing kicked off, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is overseeing the case, said that she was inclined to not grant relief with respect to games (including Fortnite), but that she was inclined to grant relief with respect to the Unreal Engine used by third-party developers. Rogers said that Epic created the current situation with Fortnite and could undo it by reverting to the status quo, so if her initial opinion is any indication of the outcome, we could see a restraining order that blocks Apple from restricting access to the Unreal Engine, but permits Apple to terminate the Epic Games developer account.
    However, Epic is still granted a small win:
    The judge overseeing the Apple v. Epic battle has granted a temporary restraining order that will prevent Apple blocking Epic's access to development tools for the Unreal Engine. The judge will not prevent Apple from terminating the Epic Games developer account, which will prevent Fortnite from being updated until Epic complies with the ‌App Store‌ rules.
  • birb
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    birb greentooth
    sacboi said:
    Judge in Apple v. Epic Case Sides With Apple on Fortnite and Unreal Engine
    (snip)


    I'm no way versed in the intricacies of the court but I had the opposite impression: It was no loss, and this judge seems more inclined to eventually side with Epic than with Apple.

    During a terse exchange with Apple counsel Richard Doren at a hearing on Monday, the judge said she saw “no competition” to Apple’s App Store on the iPhone.

    “The question is, without competition, where does the 30% (App Store commission) come from? Why isn’t it 10? 20? How is the consumer benefiting?” she asked.

    Doren replied that consumers had choices when deciding to buy an Android device or an iPhone.

    “The competition is in the foremarket,” he said, reiterating an argument that has been central to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s defense during Congressional antitrust hearings.

    Gonzalez Rogers replied that there was “plenty of economic theory” to show that switching brands imposed costs on consumers.

    (Reuters)


    Epic isn't completely alone in this fight, by the way. Microsoft threw its support behind them a few days ago. (The Guardian)

    Microsoft has joined the court battle between Apple and Epic Games, filing a legal brief supporting the Fortnite developer’s right to carry on developing software for Mac and iOS while the case continues.

  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Update - Epic Is Formally Asking For A Preliminary Injunction:

    Shortly before midnight on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Epic Games pushed the button on its next legal action against Apple’s ban on the immensely popular Fortnite.

    There was no question that Epic would file for a preliminary injunction against Apple in an attempt to force the iPhone maker to bring Fortnite back to the App Store — hearings were already scheduled for September 28th. But now, you can read the company’s full argument (here’s a PDF; it’s also embedded below) and decide whether you think Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is likely to be swayed.

    You may remember that Judge Rogers was already unwilling to issue a temporary restraining order against Apple to protect Epic’s games, partly because Epic hadn’t proven it had actually been harmed, and partly because the judge felt that Epic “strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple” and so was at least partially to blame.

    But in the new filing, Epic argues that more than its reputation has been harmed: “Daily active users on iOS have declined by over 60% since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store,” Epic claims. (It measured through September 2nd, in case you’re curious; by that point Fortnite had effectively split into two different games.)

    Epic says iOS is the biggest platform for Fortnite, too: 116 million registered users, or nearly a third of the 350 million registered users Epic says Fortnite has attracted in total. It also claims 63 percent of Fortnite users on iOS access Fortnite only on iOS, and that it’s the only way for many people to play the game.

    Epic says it’s worried it “may never see these users again” (referring to the 60 percent decline); that its Fortnite community of players has been torn apart; and that some of its non-Fortnite customers have also been collateral damage. As we reported last week, some of Epic’s other games are no longer available to re-download, and Epic says that its Shadow Complex Remastered has been removed from the Mac App Store, too, after Apple terminated Epic’s developer account.

  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    Judge in Apple 'Fortnite' case slams Epic's tactics, hints at July trial date
    The case is considered a potentially landmark suit, one that tests the frontiers of antitrust law, said Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She did not give a timeframe for a decision on the injunction. She also said that given her schedule, the case is not likely to go to trial until July 2021. And, she added, she would prefer the case be tried before a jury.
  • Nuclear Angel
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    Nuclear Angel polycounter
    Thanks for the Updates on this Topic sacboi!
    I really do hope that Epic wins this one, so that the phone market opens up more and gets treated as an open platform, and that the phone manufacturers are more of a Hardware seller. I personally despise the OS of both apple and Android, I would welcome more Operating systems with open arms . 
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