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
19 months ago
Case closed. ?‍⚖️
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rudigern Avatar
19 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
19 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
19 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
19 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
19 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)

Related Stories

app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games Not Satisfied With Ruling in Case Against Apple, Files Appeal

Monday September 13, 2021 2:02 am PDT by
Epic Games has filed an appeal against the ruling in its case against Apple, further prolonging the already year-long legal battle between the two companies. The ruling, announced on Friday, sided with Apple on nine out of the ten counts that Epic Games had presented against the company. Epic, from the start, had alleged that Apple is anti-competitive and that it should open up its devices...
fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1

Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Thursday September 9, 2021 5:00 pm PDT by
Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea. South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases. Epic Games now says that ...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Began Planning Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Two Years Ago With 'Project Liberty'

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:01 am PDT by
Ahead of its upcoming bench trial against Epic Games, Apple today filed 500 pages of documents covering findings of fact and conclusions of law, which basically summarizes the information exchanged between Apple and Epic, presents the relevant facts to the judge, and argues for the logical conclusions that should be drawn when law is applied to the case. Apple sticks to many of the talking...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games v. Apple Trial Wraps Up, But We Likely Won't Know the Outcome for Months

Monday May 24, 2021 4:58 pm PDT by
The three week Epic Games v. Apple trial wrapped up today, with a series of debates that were held in lieu of traditional closing arguments. The wrap up follows Apple CEO Tim Cook's testimony last week, which saw him grilled by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on Apple's App Store policies. As outlined by Protocol, at the conclusion of the trial, Rogers aimed to get at the heart of the dispute...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
fortnite apple logo 2

Apple's Filings in Epic Games Case Argue It Has Reduced Industry Commissions, While Third-Party App Stores Would Compromise Privacy and Security

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Prior to its upcoming bench trial with Epic Games, Apple filed hundreds of pages of documents covering findings of fact, which include some interesting and previously unknown tidbits about Epic Games. Epic Games planned its rebellion against Apple for at least two years ahead of when it opted to brazenly violate Apple's App Store rules, with Apple's App Store fees at the heart of the...
fortnite apple featured

Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees

Friday March 26, 2021 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360). U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games CEO Renews Attack on Apple and Calls for Single, Universal App Store

Tuesday November 16, 2021 3:31 am PST by
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has today renewed his attack on Apple and called for a single, universal app store that works across all platforms (via Bloomberg). Last year, Epic's popular game "Fortnite" became the subject of heated litigation with Apple and Google over the rate of commission on in-app purchases. After Epic broke App Store rules by implementing a direct payment option, the game ...

Popular Stories

ipad pro m1 feature

Gurman: Apple Event This October Remains Unlikely, No Touch ID for iPhone 15

Sunday October 2, 2022 6:41 am PDT by
Apple is developing new iPad Pro, Mac, and Apple TV models, and at least some of these products will be released in October, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. However, Gurman continues to believe that Apple is unlikely to hold an event this month. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman said "the big iPhone 14 unveiling last month was probably it for Apple in 2022 in...
maxresdefault

Apple Responds to Video Testing Crash Detection Feature With Junkyard Vehicles

Friday September 30, 2022 9:11 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern recently traveled to Michigan to test Apple's new crash detection feature on the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra. In response, Apple provided some additional information about how the feature works. Stern recruited Michael Barabe to crash his demolition derby car with a heavy-duty steel frame into two unoccupied vehicles parked in a junkyard — a 2003...
Hero0005

Best Apple Deals of the Week: M2 MacBook Air Hits New All-Time Low Price at $1,049, Plus Sales on AirPods Pro and More

Friday September 30, 2022 9:05 am PDT by
This week's best Apple deals focus on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and M2 MacBook Air, including numerous all-time low prices on these devices. You'll also find up to 50 percent off discounts on Anker and Eufy accessories on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us...
Apple SIM Card

Apple SIM No Longer Available for Activating New Cellular Data Plans on iPads

Sunday October 2, 2022 8:04 am PDT by
As of October 1, Apple SIM is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on supported iPad models, according to an Apple support document. Introduced in 2014, the Apple SIM was designed to allow iPad users to activate cellular data plans from multiple carriers around the world. Initially, the Apple SIM was a physical nano-SIM card, but it was embedded inside later iPad Pro...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
iOS 16 Wallpaper Spectrum Feature

Five Wallpaper Apps to Check Out for iOS 16's New Lock Screen Depth Effect

Thursday September 29, 2022 9:08 am PDT by
One of the biggest new features in iOS 16 is a completely redesigned iPhone Lock Screen. The new Lock Screen is entirely customizable, letting you change the colors and fonts, add widgets and new wallpapers, and more to make your iPhone uniquely yours. Of course, even before iOS 16, you could customize your Lock Screen with a wallpaper of your choice. iOS 16 takes the Lock Screen wallpaper...
top stories 1oct2022

Top Stories: Stage Manager Expands to Older iPad Pro Models, No October Apple Event?

Saturday October 1, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
While we had been expecting a follow-up October Apple event focused on Mac and iPad announcements, it sounds like we might not be getting another event after all. Instead, the pending updates in those product segments could be considered minor enough that they may be announced via press releases. It wasn't all bad news, however, with Apple announcing that it will be expanding an on-device...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.0.3 With More Bug Fixes Following iPhone 14 Launch

Monday October 3, 2022 7:53 am PDT by
iOS 16.0.2 was released last month with several bug fixes for iPhone 14 issues, excessive copy and paste permission prompts, and more. Now, evidence suggests that Apple is planning to release iOS 16.0.3 with additional bug fixes. Evidence of an upcoming iOS 16.0.3 software update has shown up in MacRumors analytics logs, which have been a reliable indicator in the past. There are several...
dynamic island alan dye

Apple Executives Talk About iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island in New Interview

Sunday October 2, 2022 10:48 am PDT by
In a new interview, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple's vice president of human interface design, Alan Dye, sat down to discuss the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island and how it was developed. During the interview with the Japanese magazine Axis, Federighi, who oversees the development of iOS, said Dynamic Island represents the...