Epic game ‘Fortnite’ battle for App Store; it has different reasons and contradictions. It has certainly been the news of the week. Epic Games has declared war on Apple’s App Store arguing a supposed monopoly by the Cupertino company. After the game with Fortnite, both Apple and Google have withdrawn the game from their respective stores , for breaking the rules. Reason why Epic Games has filed a lawsuit in court for monopoly.
It is a perfectly orchestrated campaign promoted by Epic Games , judging by the very rapid progress of events. The rejection of the commission payment was followed by the predictable response of Apple and Google by withdrawing the app, at which point Epic Games has launched a public relations campaign with embedded video in addition to the lawsuit. All this in less than 24 hours, which denotes a preparation of probably months.
That said, the set of contradictions that the company incurs in its accusations of monopoly is still striking . Let’s take a look at them.
The App Store is not an open platform like the internet
Just a month ago we saw the 12th anniversary of the App Store in the middle of an assault for its control . Those who still argue that it is an attack on the commission charged by Apple are wrong . It’s a fight for control, as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney states:
The problem is that Sweeney believes that the App Store is, or rather should be, an “open” platform like the internet . But the App Store is a private platform, not something that we could almost consider as a public service. The App Store is a service for developers, whose company has decided to legitimately charge for it.
In return, Apple provides developers with development, marketing, and analytics tools . In addition to a review process that ensures the quality, safety and reliability of one hundred thousand apps every week. All this has a cost, not only monetary but also opportunity. That is why Apple is looking for a way to compensate it. Apple manages the App Store with break-even in mind or very close to it, that is, it covers costs and is not a significant source of profit.
The App Store Commission and the Straw Man Argument
Sweeney here makes a frequently used argument but falls into the typical straw man argument . Ignore the fact that most companies don’t pay any commission to the App Store. In reality, 86% of the apps in the App Store are not subject to any commission. Only 14% do contribute to the store’s coffers. And Sweeney knows it perfectly.
They demand to have their App Store within the App Store
Epic and Fortnite users are directly affected by Apple’s anti-competitive conduct. To counteract this, Epic would provide an alternative App Store on iOS devices, which would allow iOS users to download apps from an innovative and well-cared store, giving users the choice between Epic’s payment system or that of a third.
Epic Games has a “monopoly” on Fortnite’s virtual currency
In recent times, the term monopoly has been abused to refer to business practices that are not . The App Store is not a monopoly since the market share of iOS (and developers) is a minority worldwide compared to Android. And in the case of games, the market is even more fragmented. Game developers can publish their games on various platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox, Playstation , Switch, Steam, Google Play Store, App Store, Samsung Galaxy Store, among others.
That said, let’s take this use of the term monopoly for a moment. So, would Epic Games be willing to “open up” Fortnite to other third-party controlled currencies , which are cheaper but of equal value? Why is it not possible to sell third-party skins in the game without any control or commission from Epic Games? Curious.
They prepare a video against Apple, but not against Google
One of the most obvious contradictions of Epic Games is having prepared a video parody of the popular 1984 Apple advertisement. Ready to launch its PR campaign when Apple decided to remove Fortnite from the App Store. And yet not have any video ready to accompany your lawsuit when Google made an identical decision.
Epic Games attacks the Play Store and App Store, but not the PlayStation or Xbox stores
Continuing with other platforms, Epic Games has not declared war on the rest of the third-party places where it distributes its games. And that they have conditions and commissions very similar to those of the App Store and Play Store, according to Analysis Group :
- Google Play Store: 30% commission (15% for subscriptions over 12 months).
- Apple App Store: 30% commission (15% for subscriptions over 12 months).
- Samsung Galaxy Store: * Google Play Store: 30% commission (or according to agreement).
- Microsoft Store: 30% in games, education, business and for devices with Windows 8. 15% the rest.
- Amazon App Store: 30% commission (20% for streaming subscriptions ).
There are numerous platforms on which Epic Games distributes its games and yet it has only put the App Store and Play Store in its sights
In the case of video game consoles or platforms , the situation is as follows:
- Xbox: 30% commission.
- PlayStation: 30% commission.
- Nintendo: 30% commission.
- Steam: 30% below 10 million; 25% between 10 and 50 million; 20% above 50 million dollars.
- Epic Games: 12%.
Other digital platforms charge much higher percentages. Twitch takes 50% of the net subscriptions and 25% of the advertising. Nook with 35% of ebooks between $ 2.99 and $ 199 (60% the rest). Audible with 60% of the exclusive content, 75% of the rest.
Has Epic Games tried to replicate your play on PlayStation or Xbox? Of course not, because the result would have been the same: expulsion from the stores until the problem was solved.