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Apple boots Fortnite off the App Store


HarryBizzle
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2 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

 

It really feels like a lot of these takes must be coming from this internet bubble derangement because I can't see how people would approach this from the angle of "fuck those guys not making much money, they should get shit all!"


ClassicRJ straw man. Literally nobody is saying that.

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It's entirely possible to support most of Epics criticisms of the way Apple and Google control their platforms but still roll your eyes at Sweeney drawing comparisons with the civil rights movement. The fact he seems to have doubled down on the comparison instead of just saying something like " sorry, it was a poor analogy to make but I still believe we are doing the right thing" just makes it even more tone deaf. 

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6 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

The 30% is the complaint they've lodged against Apple and Google, the opening up stuff was only about Apple, which makes it seems like less of a core concern, and it always came off a thing that would be dropped to compromise at your truer position.

Ah, fair enough. I forgot they also included Google. I still don’t think it changes the argument though.

 

6 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

It changes a lot for those smaller developers!

 

It really feels like a lot of these takes must be coming from this internet bubble derangement because I can't see how people would approach this from the angle of "fuck those guys not making much money, they should get shit all!"

 

The default position should be that it's a welcome move, not bemoaning it because you don't like Tim Sweeney.

I agree that it’s good for most app store developers. I don’t think anyone here is making the arguments that you’re railing against though.

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7 hours ago, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

Was 30% ever "the issue"? It's seems "It's my platform and I'll charge what I want to" is the issue.

 

Apple think they can charge whatever they like to allow people access to their customers. Epic think they shouldn't be allowed to charge anything and that Epic can have free (in both senses of the word) access to Apple customers.

 

Apple newest PR move (it may affect 95% of iOS developers but according to the New York Times it's going to affect less than 5% of App Store revenue) doesn't change that at all.

The idea that I spend £1k on a computing device or phone but will forever be locked into being an “Apple customer” is a fantastic reason never to buy a Mac.

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5 hours ago, kensei said:

 

No actually says that, and companies are absolutely right to point out the ask Apple makes is excessive and an abuse of monopoly power. 

 

Plus why shouldn't they argue from their own self interest?

In the case of Basecamp, what they were arguing against isn't an excessive demand from Apple.

 

They wanted to be able to offer a subscription product, Apple offer a mechanism to do this, they wanted to get the benefits of this mechanism without following the same rules everyone else on the store has to follow. (As opposed to, e.g., Netflix, who just take the whole process off-platform.)

 

Making stuff for iOS (and consoles) is more restrictive but sometimes the platform holder taking on some of the functionality benefits users (many of whom aren't PC and internet savvy) and most developers. Basecamp got knocked back once by Apple review and immediately and publicly shat the bed about it. Meanwhile, e.g., GameClub got rejected dozens of times but eventually figured out how to do something that the store wasn't explicitly designed to support.

 

What they want (a free choice of billing mechanisms and stores) is a good cause, but they're going about it in a dickish way that will probably help Apple's side more than Epic's.

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  • 4 months later...

In the Australian version of the case, the judge has decided... he can't be arsed?

 

He put a 3 month stay on the case. It is up to Epic to file a suit in the US, within those three months, that Apple are breaching Australian law. If they don't, the stay will be permanent. So it will be up to the US judge to decide on Australian law too. Though the US judge could decline and kick it back to Australia.

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  • 1 month later...
2 hours ago, deerokus said:

Got a feeling epic are going to win this now. The judge really took him apart. 


I don’t think they’ll get a “win”. They had some very weak arguments that were pulled apart quickly very early on.

 

I think Apple will be forced to make some changes (for better or worse), but I don’t think they’ll have things like being forced to allow installs from anywhere etc.

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2 hours ago, Isaac said:

Apple are fighting the inevitable here in that the EU are already well on the way to forcing them to reduce their cut.

I don’t understand why though, it’s Apples platform. It’s no business of anyone else what fees they charge.

 What should happen is the devs charge 40% more, App Store gets a bad rep for being expensive and dive bombs and then Apple decide to make a market decision about their model.

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3 minutes ago, Harrisown said:

I don’t understand why though, it’s Apples platform. It’s no business of anyone else what fees they charge.

 What should happen is the devs charge 40% more, App Store gets a bad rep for being expensive and dive bombs an D.C. then Apple decide to make a market decision.

 

Sure, if you completely disregard centuries of competition law I guess.

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The judge made some very pertinent points to Tim Apple, one of Apple's main arguments has been (quite rightly) that they develop the whole ecosystem and thousands of APIs that the software via the store utilises. The judges point was that it appears games are bearing the brunt of paying for this via the app store cut and industries like banking get a free ride.

 

The competition law argument is tricky as on the one hand this is totally Apple's platform, they've developed it and the hardware and its totally theirs, the size and success of it is what has companies like Epic developing for it and trying suits like this, why should Apple enable a free for all with side loading and multiple stores if they don't want to, don't like it don't develop for iOS. There is competition as Android exists, Epic are trying to have their cake and eat it here.

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It's on stronger ground on narrower things like Spotify (and indeed is what I think the EU finding was based on) where the argument is they cannot compete on a level playing field with Apple music.

 

I personally believe that if there is any "win" for Epic is that they will be told (as others have suggested) to remove the limitation of being able to indicate and link to external sources of payment in app which pushes the user to a relevant url, but suspect it will have minimal real impact (even if slightly more expensive I would be more comfortable paying it in app and it also keeps the parental controls element for example).

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I think it’s important not to read too much into the judge’s questions. It’s probing people but in the end the judgement will need solid basis and that might restrict her capabilities almost regardless of opinion.

 

I think an opening up of the payment platform would be the best outcome generally. For small apps I might keep using the Apple route for security and trust but for big companies I’m happy to use theirs instead if it’s cheaper. And for someone like Epic that means they no longer have to see the same large amount of money go to Apple for that service. There will be people playing Fortnite who use the Apple payments and that should easily fund Apple’s apparently huge cost of API development and the platform maintenance. If it doesn’t then they need to make a business model that more evenly distributes the costs away from game in-app purchases and specifically those of a few massive games.

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Apple executives repeatedly (unconvincingly) trying to pretend to a judge that they treat the App Store like a charitable side project run out of pure benevolence is hilarious.


https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/27/22454959/epic-apple-trial-recap-video-tim-cook-xbox-playstation-business

 

Quote

One of the running jokes of the trial was Apple’s insistence that it had no idea how much money the App Store makes in profit. Phil Schiller said outright that he had no idea if the App Store had brought in more money than it spent since 2009 “because that’s not how I look at the business.” (For context, the App Store brought in more than $60 billion in 2020, which would be quite a lot to burn through without realizing.) Tim Cook was a little bit more reserved, saying he believed it was profitable but hadn’t calculated by how much.

 

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  • 3 months later...

 

 

The judgment is out: Epic got what they want from the case in that they can now get around the 30% cut by directing users out to their own in-game purchase store, as can other games. They have to pay $12 million in damages to Apple for breaking the rules, but that's chump change for that victory.

 

These steering provisions were key to the sort of "fake markets" that the tech industry relied on, so having them be struck down is big.

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Worth noting a lot of other places weren't even waiting around for a case like this for precedent, they just realised the tech companies were abusing their power and made new laws:

 

And all those gamers who did those big fearmongering posts about how Epic were evil and trying to destroy the console industry or whatever shit turned out to just be reactionary idiots fighting for the wrong side.

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10 minutes ago, footle said:

Kind of amazing how many places call it an Apple win. Epic don’t give a fuck whether they’re ruled an antitrust monopoly or not - they just want to be able to link external payment options…


Apple are under no obligation to allow Fortnite or any other Epic game back into the App Store. Epic aren’t going to be able to make use of this ruling.

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39 minutes ago, jcafarley said:

Apple are under no obligation to allow Fortnite or any other Epic game back into the App Store. Epic aren’t going to be able to make use of this ruling.

 

Given there's multiple laws in Congress about limiting tech power, I really can't see Apple painting a big target on their back by using their power to block someone who just successfully challenged them. Epic paying the fine is the redress for breaking the rules, there should be no problems beyond that.

 

Can't help feel these takes are all just copium, people having to come up with fantasies for how "actually Epic lost"

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