Epic Games Aiming to Recruit 'Coalition of Apple Critics' to Fight App Store Policies

Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite that recently entered into a major dispute with Apple over App Store policies, is aiming to organize a wider opposition to Apple, reports The Information.

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Epic over the course of the last few weeks has allegedly reached out to other tech executives with the hopes of forming a coalition of companies that are critical of Apple's business practices.

While Epic had preliminary discussions with Spotify, the music streaming company had not signed on to join Epic as of last week. Spotify did, however, weigh in on the dispute, applauding Epic's decision to "take a stand against Apple."

We applaud Epic Games' decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple's abuse of its dominant position. Apple's unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long. The stakes for consumers and app developers large and small couldn't be higher and ensuring that the iOS platform operates competitively and fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications.

The Information suggests that Epic could find it difficult to recruit companies to join it, even those who are privately sympathetic to its goals. An executive at a prominent video game company said that he supported pressuring Apple to lower its ‌App Store‌ commission rates, but worried that forming a coordinated effort could violate antitrust laws. It's also not known what role a broader anti-Apple group would have.

It isn't clear exactly what role a coalition would play, if Epic succeeds in forming one. Companies with concerns about Apple are already having informal discussions about their issues with other like-minded companies behind the scenes. One of the people aware of Epic's discussions with other companies described it as an apparent effort to coordinate public messaging about Apple.

Though Epic has not yet persuaded other companies to join it and speak out against Apple, Epic has launched a major fight over ‌App Store‌ policies. Last week, Epic introduced a direct payment option in Fortnite, purposefully skirting Apple's rules surrounding in-app purchases.

Apple responded as expected and removed the Fortnite app from the ‌App Store‌, after which ‌Epic Games‌ filed a pre-planned lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of being a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation."

Today, Apple sent Epic a letter threatening to terminate ‌Epic Games‌' entire access to the ‌App Store‌ and Apple's development tools, which would prevent Epic from optimizing the Unreal Engine for Mac and iOS hardware, thereby impacting third-party apps that use the Unreal Engine.

Apple plans to revoke access to all of Epic's developer accounts by August 28 if Epic does not comply with Apple's ‌App Store‌ guidelines, but Epic has filed an emergency lawsuit to attempt to get a court to prohibit Apple from shutting down its access to ‌App Store‌ tools.

Top Rated Comments

decisions Avatar
49 months ago
This company really comes off as immature and malicious.

Don’t people know they just want to put Epic Games Store on iOS so they can make more money off of Apple’s platform?
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
49 months ago
Epic should recruit a massive coalition of 12 year old Fortnite gamers to protest outside of Cupertino.
That will get annoying quick, leaving Apple no choice.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1144557 Avatar
49 months ago

I guess I would be more sympathetic to the developers cause if the apps weren't free or dirt cheap. IAP commissions are the only way Apple can offset the costs of developing and maintaining a marketplace of basically free goods.

If app developers were charging fair prices for their goods then one could envision a lower commission on IAPs but until then I don't really see any options.
In 2019 Apple collected $50 billion from the App Store; paying out devs about $35 billion. So Apple made $15 billion

Fortnite in 2019 made 1.8 billion; not the company profits but the one game. Epic made 12% of profits Apple makes on ALL apps, the whole app store, in a year on one game.

It's hard to feel bad for Epic here making almost $2 billion by preying on kids buying overpriced IAPs that they code once. Meanwhile Apple has to maintain Xcode & dev tools, host the apps, moderate the app store, review apps, etc etc. That $15 billion isnt "profit cash in pocket"
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ian619 Avatar
49 months ago
This is such a stupid hill to die on. Do like Kindle and only let people buy in a browser so you don't have to give Apple a cut or do some third degree price discrimination. Charge one price on iOS devices and charge a cheaper price on your website for people who are willing to take the extra step to save a couple of bucks.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
icanhazmac Avatar
49 months ago
I guess I would be more sympathetic to the developers cause if the apps weren't free or dirt cheap. IAP commissions are the only way Apple can offset the costs of developing and maintaining a marketplace of basically free goods.

If app developers were charging fair prices for their goods then one could envision a lower commission on IAPs but until then I don't really see any options.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kuro Tanaka Avatar
49 months ago
Tencent has a stake in both Epic and Spotify so there is already a CCP backed coalition.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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