Technical tie: The whole history of the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games

Fortnite and turkeys were the cause of everything. Epic Games, the developer company at the helm of Fornite, decided that its video game store much cooler than the App Store and that it was totally unfair that the Cupertino company was taking 30% of the “turkeys” that users invested in their video game.

More than a year later the sentence does not leave Apple or Epic Games happy, both companies have been half satisfied, let’s get to know the case in depth. From now on many things can change in the iOS App Store.

Epic Games never liked the method

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, has been complaining about the standardized commissions in the video game marketplace market since 2015. This is how he publicly expresses his discomfort against Setam (Valve), App Store (Apple) and Google Play Store (Google). Thus, his company leads by example and imposes a 12% commission on developers on each sale within the Epic Games Store, well below not only the market standard, but also rival companies such as those mentioned above.

I understand the 30% commission in game console stores, since there is a heavy investment in hardware and many of these are sold below manufacturing cost. In addition, these companies collaborate with publishers through marketing campaigns, but not on mobile and PC platforms.

Since 2018, Fortnite, owned by Epic Games, has been expanding in its free format across a multitude of platforms, one of them mobile phones. However, from the beginning Epic Games has tried to avoid at all costs that 30% commission that the owners of the application stores apply to internal transactions.

It’s not the first time Epic Games has tried

With the launch of Fortnite for Android devices, Epic Games wanted to take full advantage of the possibility of installing third-party applications on Android without having to go through the Google Play Store and pay their “abusive” commissions. For this, it created important collaboration campaigns with companies such as Samsung, allowing Fortnite to be installed through an external system, in many cases pre-installed on mobile devices and totally unrelated to the Google Play Store. Something that was not very effective for the company.

FreeFortnite Cup

Soon tens of hundreds of clones and hackers emerged who were dedicated to hacking the Fortnite installers in order to infect as many devices as possible with malware. Because of course … who would have imagined that the Google Play Store would provide more security in this regard? It was the first hit of reality for Epic Games, which in April 2020 launched Fortnite directly on the Google Play Store, an application that was already present in the iOS App Store since 2018 due to the impossibility of installing content externally. Apple made it more difficult early on.

August 2020, the Porject Liberty show begins

Epic began planning what to many seemed like a coup to all the companies that charge a 30% commission in their stores, but which is clearly limited to the Apple platform, where possibly the fewest number of Fortnite users are located. . What could have been a generic or casual choice, never was. Epic Games clearly intended to minimize the potential adverse effects of declaring champion of video game developers in his war against the establishment. In this way Epic Games launches Project Liberty, its strategic plan.

Apple vs Fortnite

Epic released an update that allowed users to purchase turkeys from external sources, thus reducing their cost by 20% as long as they do not use the Apple or Google payment gateway. In a few hours Apple and Google took action on the matter and Fornite was quickly removed from the application stores and accused of breaching the terms and conditions of the service. At that time Epic Games filed lawsuits against Apple and Google that it already had prepared in advance, as well as an advertising campaign parodying the mythical Apple ad “1984”, it was all a meticulously orchestrated plan.

The trial began and the sentence arrived

There was no reverse. Apple filed its counterclaim on September 8, 2020 accusing Epic Games of breaching the contract and causing monetary losses as well as security problems. And so, between evidence and accusations we reach the final sentence, in which it seems that no one has ended up too happy with the result, especially Epic Games, which tried to force Apple to accept external application stores on iOS.

First, Apple will receive compensation equivalent to the commissions not received during the time that Epic Games was accepting transactions from iOS outside of the Apple payment platform:

In favor of Apple for breach of contract. Epic Games will pay damages for a amount equal to 30% of the $ 12,167,719 in revenue that Epic Games raised of users on the Fortnite app on iOS through Epic Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus 30% of such revenue that Epic Games collected from November 1, 2020 to the date of the ruling, and interest from according to the law.

But Apple also received its own, and that is now it will be forced to allow other payment systems to developers. In fact, a few days ago Apple announced that from 2022 it will allow including external links to purchase in-app content. The ruling expressly prohibits Apple from preventing developers from including external links or other actions in their applications that lead to purchasing mechanisms that avoid the possibility of paying 30% in commissions.

Unless Apple decides to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States of America, it will have a period of 90 days (until next December 9, 2021) to implement these changes in order to avoid anticompetitive conduct, at least according to the laws of California .



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