PLAY LIFE, LIVE GAMES: Epic/Apple feud continues to escalate
Like a dog chasing a car, I don't think Epic Games really knew what it was doing when it decided to go to war with Apple and Google last week.
It all started last Thursday when Epic Games, the developer and publisher of the insanely popular game "Fortnite," announced they would start offering a permanent 20 percent discount on "Fortnite's" in-game currency if the player would buy directly from Epic rather than the Apple or Google app stores.
Apple and Google, who both collect a 30 percent fee on all in-app purchases immediately balked at this and pulled the game from their stories.
Epic Games expected that and lawsuits against Apple and Google were already written waiting to be filed as soon as the game had been pulled from the app stores. Epic even released a video to go along with the lawsuit that is a parody of Apple's "1984" Super Bowl commercial, but this time casting Apple in the villain role instead of IBM.
"Apple's removal of 'Fortnite' is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS in-app payment processing market," Epic said in its complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Epic is clearly trying to sway public opinion that they're good guys looking out for consumers while Apple and Google are just trying to milk hardworking companies by taking exorbitant fees on purchases made on their app stores.
While Epic was expecting "Fortnite" to get pulled from the app stories, I don't think they were expecting the continued escalation of the fight this week.
On Monday, Apple announced it had plans to revoke Epic Games' software development capabilities for all Apple products on Aug. 28, making Epic Games' popular Unreal Engine, used to make games, movies/television shows, theme park attractions and other industries, incompatible with any Apple product.
Epic Games filed a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order against Apple on Monday that would prevent "Fortnite" from being removed from the iOS app store and keep the Unreal Engine from being incompatible with Apple hardware.
As a creator and lover of all kinds of media, I absolutely believe that all content creators should be given a fair payment for their work.
But I also believe in fair business. Since the safer at home recommendations started in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, my wife and I have been rewatching the classic CBS drama "Dallas." Signing a contract agreeing to split the proceeds 70/30 and then finding a way to cheat the system after you've become successful so you don't have to pay your partner sounds like something J.R. Ewing would have taken pleasure in 40 years ago. And if your business model is something J.R. Ewing would approve of, it's probably not entirely on the up and up.
Dusty Ricketts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is currently playing “Fall Guys” and "Friday the 13th: The Game." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.