Feb 11, 2021 Games
The App Store policy requires that all applications use their system for in-app purchases, which will provide Apple with a 30% commission on all purchases. Epic refused to comply with this policy, resulting in the application being kicked off the platform. It is worth noting that within a few hours after “Fortnite” was removed from the App Store, Epic launched and publicly announced the lawsuit.
Epic refers to this lawsuit as the “Freedom Project” further opens Apple’s platform so that small developers can benefit and bring them “freedom.” Although the lawsuit’s focus is the App Store’s 30% commission policy, Sweeney said that in the final analysis, he believes that open platforms are “the key to the future of free markets and computing”.
Developers have been questioning whether the 30% commission is a fair price for developers. For example, Epic Games received $1.3 billion in revenue from in-game purchases of “Fortnite” in 2020.
Epic Games was valued at $17.3 billion at the end of last year. In terms of finances, Sweeney said that Epic has “sufficient financial resources” to file a lawsuit against Apple since Epic Games is not a listed company. When asked about the specific details of how much Epic had spent in its lawsuit against Apple, Sweeney refused to answer, saying that it consumed “a lot, a lot” of the company’s lead time. However, it is clear that because millions of Apple users cannot play Fortnite on their devices, the company is likely to be experiencing some financial struggles. According to Sensor Tower data cited by CNN Business, iOS users have created more than $1.2 billion in Epic revenue.
But in general, Sweeney said these struggles are worthwhile because they worry that platforms such as the App Store will be dominated entirely by platform owners such as Apple in the future, and no other developers are on it.
“[These companies] will only do it industry by industry, application category by application category, until they swallow all important things. And who will be left behind?” Sweeney said. “One million independent developers together account for a small percentage of the app store’s revenue because these companies are too small and unattractive to be robbed”.
Finally, Sweeney talked about his controversial remarks in November. He said that the civil rights struggle is similar to Epic’s battle for platform “freedom.” This remark caused widespread repercussions. In this regard, Sweeney said that he believes that it is “completely healthy” to draw similarities between “a vital cause in the history of the world” and the struggle on the application platform.
“The point is, if you want to make a difference, you have to attack the system” Sweeney said in response to criticism“. I think we can learn a lot from any struggle of humanity in the past. I think it is completely healthy to project the spirit of struggle for important causes in world history into the struggle for small issues such as software platforms”.
Recently, Epic Games filed a complaint against Apple in the UK, claiming that Apple’s deletion of “Fortnite” from the App Store was “illegal” and requested the application to be restored. The prosecution in the United Kingdom is another action after Epic reached an agreement between the United States and Australia. Epic said that it did not seek compensation from Apple but only sought “fair access and competition to benefit all consumers.” Both companies are preparing to face off in court in July this year.