Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, ‌Epic Games‌' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple.

fortnite apple logo 2
Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney confirmed that Apple's 30 percent cut is also the "most prevalent rate" that other platforms charge.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all take a 30 percent cut from ‌Epic Games‌ on their platforms and require their in-app purchase systems to be used, but Sweeney said that Epic is not challenging them because he believes in the idea of "subsidized hardware," though he also admitted that ‌iPhone‌ and iOS development is "very similar." It's also worth noting that Fortnite makes more money on console platforms than it does from iOS.

Sweeney confirmed that ‌Epic Games‌ has a history of bullying platform makers. ‌Epic Games‌ pushed Sony into allowing cross-platform play, but Sony ultimately got the upper hand and requires additional payment to enable cross-platform capabilities, unlike iOS, where cross-platform play is free and has been since Fortnite launched on the App Store.

Apple pointed out ‌Epic Games‌' use of Apple's Metal API and shared correspondence where Sweeney and Epic had praised Metal in the past as evidence that Epic benefits from Apple's APIs and SDKs. From an Epic internal email discussing a quote to give to Apple:

We've been making use of Metal on iOS to great effect since its release in 2014. A fast, agile, feature-rich API like Metal is exactly what we need to bring a game designed for modern consoles and desktops to the battery-powered iPhone and iPad. As a developer, it blows away OpenGL in every way.

Starting in 2015, Sweeney began trying to convince Apple to make the ‌App Store‌ an open platform.

tim sweeney email cook
Humorously, when he got Sweeney's initial email, Cook didn't know who Sweeney was. "Is this the guy that was at one of our rehearsals?" he asked Phil Schiller in a forwarded email.

When asked whether he would have accepted a special deal from Apple for a lower ‌App Store‌ commission, Sweeney said "Yes, I would have," which seems to weaken Epic's argument that its decision to kick off a legal battle with Apple was done to benefit all developers.

At the conclusion of today's questioning, Sweeney was asked what he would do if ‌Epic Games‌ loses the case. In response, he said that Apple would be able to cut off Fortnite and remove ‌Epic Games‌ from the developer program for any reason. "We would have to live with not supporting the iOS platform," he said.

The legal fight between Apple and Epic will continue for three weeks, with Apple executives like Tim Cook set to testify during the third week. We'll have ongoing coverage of Apple v. Epic as the case continues on.

Top Rated Comments

Think|Different Avatar
23 months ago
Case closed. ?‍⚖️
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rudigern Avatar
23 months ago
It has been clear from the beginning that EPIC is just trying to push their market dominance, not fight for the little guy. This just confirms what anyone knowledgable already knew.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChromeCloud Avatar
23 months ago
I propose a new "special deal": 30% goes to Apple, 30% goes to Epic Games, 40% goes to charity.
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
logicalhuman Avatar
23 months ago
I tend to stop paying attention to those that include “y’all” in their speech anyway.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
countryside Avatar
23 months ago
I am really confused if/how EPIC thinks they can win this...

What is in it for them? Beyond a slim chance of winning?

Is it the 'all publicity is good publicity' mindset? Not to mention they are losing out on iOS revenue? And look like a spoiled entitled brat?
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sonsofnarcissus Avatar
23 months ago

I tend to stop paying attention to those that include “y’all” in their speech anyway.
I think "Yo Tim Apple" might have been more appropriate.
Seriously....you send an email to the CEO of a trillion dollar company and start off with "y'all". What a joke!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...