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Apple returns to Epic, claiming lawsuit is publicity stunt

Screenshot: Epic games

Legal Tiff of Epic and Apple Fortnite on the App Store is raging. In Apple’s latest filing, the monster echoed many of our own commentators in calling Epic’s actions a stunt to bolster FortniteDecreasing popularity.

Apples opposition the filing is a response to Epic’s initial appeal for a temporary restraining order that would have put Fortnite back on the App Store for now. The companies are involved in an antitrust lawsuit that is now going to court. Apple continues to insist that Epic does not need court intervention for a problem it caused itself – by adding a payment feature to the iOS version of the game that violates Apple’s rules – one position the judge at least partially agree with. Epic and its CEO Tim Sweeney have presented themselves as heroes with the courage to take the monopoly on technology, but Apple’s latest filing suggests an ulterior motive, with lawyers delivering a real burn:

For reasons unrelated to Epic’s claims against Apple, FortniteThe popularity of s is waning. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite was down almost 70% from October 2019. This lawsuit (and the headlines it generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign to re-energize interest in Fortnite.

(The figures cited by Apple are from google trends. In May, PCGamesN noted that registered Fortnite users are in place per 100 million from 2019.)

Epic marketed the hell of its fight with Apple, launching an anti-Apple ad and hashtag, #FreeFortnite, hours later Fortnite being removed from the App Store. Epic argued that Apple is damaging its reputation, leading angry gamers in its own way and affecting its future metaverse ambitions. But Apple lawyers wonder why, if Epic is so hurt, it continues to promote the situation that is hurting it:

Epic has embarked on a large-scale, pre-planned media blitz around its decision to sever its deal with Apple, creating ad campaigns around the effort that continues to this day. If Epic were really concerned about damaging their reputation as a result of this dispute, they would not engage in these elaborate efforts to publicize it. From all appearances (including the #freefortnite campaign), Epic believes his conduct here will breed goodwill, bolster his reputation, and lead users to Fortnite, not the other way around. It is not a bad thing.

Apple even claims that Epic’s #FreeFortnite social media campaign is proof that Apple doesn’t have a monopoly. As part of this campaign, Epic hosted a game in Free Fortnite Cup in which players can earn various non-iPhone devices to play Fortnite sure. The Cup framed Epic as the good guys giving access to Fortnite despite the old Apple, but in its filing Apple cites Cup marketing, writing

Epic’s own conduct in development and distribution Fortnite establishes that the iPhone is “reasonably interchangeable” with other mobile devices running non-iOS operating systems, with PCs and laptops, and with game consoles. Indeed, after Fortnite was removed from the App Store, Epic urged users to switch platforms, explaining that “the party continues on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, GeForce Now and through the Epic app Games on epicgames.com and the Samsung Galaxy Store. “

In another dig, Apple points out that, by Epic’s own admission, the iPhone is only a small part of its business – “Epic revealed that only 10% of Fortnite consumers regularly play on the iPhone ”and that“ Epic has repeatedly said [Apple] that… Apple is the “smaller piece of the cake” when it comes to revenue. Apple even takes photos of the importance of Epic’s Unreal Engine gaming technology, writing that despite the supposed importance of Unreal, “Unity is used by the overwhelming majority of Apple developers who use a graphics engine.” “

Apple demonstrates in its repository the support it has provided Fortnite over the years, even pointing out that she hired an employee in Australia so Epic could have 24-hour coverage. But that also undermines her good guy’s self-image a bit in a line that echoes. to its recent new rules on game streaming services. Apple writes in its file that if Epic doesn’t like Apple’s payment rules, the developer might do business differently: “Although sales of products integrated into Fortnite (which is free to download and play) must be done through IAP [Apple’s payment system], Epic could easily have chosen a different business model to monetize Fortnite without products integrated into the application. This is similar to Apple’s recent new rules regarding game streaming, in which he basically told services like Microsoft’s xCloud and Google’s Stadia that they could be on the App Store if they changed everything on their own. The new rules on streaming services were baffling; here Apple decides again it is the children who are wrong, claiming that if Epic doesn’t like things, they can just get rid of shoppable skins and emotes that are essential for FortniteFinancial and popular success of. This is not a good idea for a company which claims in its filing that “in the interest of stimulating more creativity and bringing more applications to its users, Apple is supporting developers in different ways … to make it as simple as possible. for developers to bring their ideas to life on the iPhone. “

however carryy people can watch two big companies fight for money while still presenting it as a matter of moral righteousness, I doubt this case is driven solely by Epic wanting to get Fortnite back in the news. The costume comes at a time when Apple has been confronted increased scrutiny of antitrust claims, allowing Epic to make a decision that clearly matches that of CEO Tim Sweeney opinions on how business should be conducted. Personally, I find this to be a good distraction from the powers that vie for whether people should have jobs or air to breathe. At the very least, the briefs make for a spicy read.


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