Epic Games CEO says Apple suit is about 'basic freedoms,' calls Apple a middleman

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
A day after filing private antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said the decision to fight two of tech's biggest powers is more about freedom than money.

Tim Sweeney
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney discusses App Store policy with CNBC in July. | Source: CNBC


Sweeney made the case for Epic's legal maneuvering, specifically as it applies to Apple, in a series of tweets on Friday. The executive characterized the fight as one for consumer and developer choice, not simply a play at more lucrative financial deals.

"At the most basic level, we're fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly," Sweeney said in a tweet.

Epic on Thursday updated Fortnite for iOS and Android to include a direct payment option that bypasses the in-app transaction mechanisms provided by Apple and Google. A violation of both stores' rules, the updated app was removed from the App Store and Play Store within hours.

Epic had a lawsuit and corresponding social media campaign locked and loaded. The gaming company lodged a private antitrust action against Apple while at the same time releasing a video parodying the Mac maker's famous "1984" ad, creating the hashtag "#FreeFortnite."

"Another argument against supporting #FreeFortnite is this is just a billion dollar company fighting a trillion dollar company about money,'" Sweeney's tweet reads. "But the fight isn't over Epic wanting a special deal, it's about the basic freedoms of all consumers and developers."

"Finally, there's nothing wrong with fighting about money," he adds in another tweet. "You work hard to earn this stuff. When you spent [sic] it, the way it's divided determines whether your money funds the creation of games or is taken by middlemen who use their power to separate gamers from game creators."

Sweeney has long been an outspoken critic of the App Store's business model and in 2017 called Apple's 30% cut of in-app transactions "pretty unfair."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 110
    Not all freedoms are beneficial. There are reasons for implementing and following the rules. Society cannot exist and be civilised without those rules.
    castcorelolliverviclauyyckknopp01n2itivguytechconcdanhwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 2 of 110
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    ne1lolliverderek73osmartormenajrleavingthebiggcornchipviclauyycuraharatundraboyjony0
  • Reply 3 of 110
    App Store is a platform that Apple built, i don't care about your stupid game, i want my Apps to be strictly curated and I want Apple to make some money off it. If a customer disagrees with the policy and gets angry about it, then don't buy and iPhone, it's that simple. 
    edited August 2020 Beatsplanetary paulthtDogpersonn2macsmwhitepichaeladerutterlolliverderek73
  • Reply 4 of 110
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,529member
    Just keep your game off the App Store buddy. Then you can sleep at night without worrying about the monster named Apple.
    planetary paulcastcorethtDogpersonn2macsmwhitepichaeladerutterlolliversgs46
  • Reply 5 of 110
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    Good. He should just do that instead of whining.  I don’t see Nintendo complain about it.  
    planetary pauln2macsmac_dogmwhitene1pichaellollivermontrosemacscornchipurahara
  • Reply 6 of 110
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,937member
    I don’t get the monopoly angle. I mean, of course Apple has a monopoly of Apple products, but there are a variety of smartphone platforms to chose from if you don’t like the way Apple sells and regulates theirs. 


    mark fearingcastcoren2macsmwhitene1pichaeladerutterlollivermontrosemacscornchip
  • Reply 7 of 110
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,543member
    Mr. Tim Sweeney, don't be hypocrite. You are not fighting for unjust but your own interest. So, shut up, Make your own App Store and stick your App there. Make your own phone or console so you don't have to deal with IOS or Android platform. 
    castcoren2macsBeatsmwhitepichaeladerutterlollivermontrosemacscornchipviclauyyc
  • Reply 8 of 110
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,866member
    Freedom isn’t free. There are rules and regulations to every thing. 
    planetary paulDogpersonmwhitene1Gabypichaellolliveruraharajony0n2itivguy
  • Reply 9 of 110
    Another baby man believing he’s entitled to anything he wants.
    castcorethtDogpersonBeatsmac_dogmwhitepichaeladerutterlollivermontrosemacs
  • Reply 10 of 110
    He's an arrogant man, who's about to get hoisted on his own petard.
    castcoreBeatspichaelchristophbjony0n2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 110
    omasouomasou Posts: 208member
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    In the past games were published to CD, were warehoused by distributors, delivered by trucks and displayed on retail shelves. So none of those "middle men" should have been compensated for the value they provided?

    Today Apple is the publisher, Apple is logistics company, Apple is the retailer displaying and promoting the product, Apple is the credit processor accepting the payment. Shouldn't they be compensated for the value they provided? I'm sure the iCloud/iTunes/iBooks/Apple Arcade/etc. server farms don't cost much to run. ROTFLMO.

    If game developers don't like it. They should develop their own gaming platform, publishing company, logistics company, retail store front and credit processing. Sony does it. Microsoft does it. Nintendo does it. etc.

    Instead they want to pick and choose what to complain about and call everything else unfair. They'll create the last two parts of the puzzle b/c they require the least resources, e.g. a store front and use an online credit processor and complain that the OS company is locking them out with "anticompetitive" rules or gating their platforms.
    Anilu_777castcorethtmac_dogmwhitene1pichaeladerutterlolliverdarkpaw
  • Reply 12 of 110
    Whenever someone says that it’s not about the money it’s about the principle - it’s about the money.

    30% is actually low for retail markup.


    castcorethtBeatsmac_dogmwhitene1pichaeladerutterlolliverleavingthebigg
  • Reply 13 of 110
    Sweeney can go jump in the lake. It’s not up to him to try to change Apple’s policies. If he doesn’t like them he doesn’t put his games on the App Store. There are reasons I and others buy iPhones and one of which is a vetted and cared-for App Store where I can find quality apps. 
    flydogcastcoreDogpersonn2macsmwhiteGabypichaeladerutterlolliverJinTech
  • Reply 14 of 110
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    The grocery store is a middle man for the dairy that produces milk, and Home Depot is a middle man for lumber manufacturers. For whatever reason no one is arguing that it is unfair or a violation of antitrust law for the grocery store or Home Depot to make money off reselling these products. 

    Stupid argument that appeals only to brainless twits.


    thtpichaellolliverPizzakoerierBGnATCviclauyycurahararazorpitn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 110
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member
    Wow, Tim Sweeney just figured out Apple b is the middle man in app store, I'm impressed he just forget this out. Where has he been.

    So he think that when you sell in the distribution model the middle man should not be able to take cut. This guy needs to take a few business classes along with fee trade law classes.

    As it was pointed out he is free to create his own hardware platform and convince people to part with their hard earn money and put in all the infrastructure to support all the customer complaints
    pichaellollivercornchiprazorpitn2itivguyretrogustowatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 110
    castcorecastcore Posts: 141member
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    They can leave Apple or advertise their game on the web? You cannot want access to Apple customers, use their App Store and not want to pay. What is the difference between what Epic is doing then me going to Morton’s Steakhouse , have a ribeye and tell them I will only pay $5 and not the $49 price I saw in the menu for the steak or I will sue you? 
    pichaelcornchipn2itivguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 110
    castcorecastcore Posts: 141member
    What is difference between Epic then the looters looting Miracle mile stores in a Chicago? No much
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 110
    Build epicPhone, epicOS, epic App Store,
    set all of these at zero price, and you may have all developer on earth to support your business, no more middleman, then sell your game 30% cheaper, wonderful~
    pichaelluisfrochaosmartormenajrcornchipviclauyycurahararazorpitchristophbjony0danh
  • Reply 19 of 110
    tshapitshapi Posts: 344member
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    I thinks it just about the money. Clearly this was premeditated. He formulated a route and programmed it into the game to by pass Apple and google play stores. Anticipated a lawsuit knowing what he was doing violated there ToS and then had a parody video in place, knowing the likely hood of them yanking fort nite over his TOS violation  was close to 100%.

    He also has been outspoken for over 3 years about this. Why did he wait til now to pull this? Why not do it in 2017? Or 2018? Or 2019?  
    pichaeladerutterlollivercornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 110
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    castcore said:
    Xed said:
    I agree with him. Apple is a middleman to Epic's software. This is why I fully support Epic in creating their own game console so they can sell Forknife directly to customers the way Nintendo does on their Switch.
    They can leave Apple or advertise their game on the web? You cannot want access to Apple customers, use their App Store and not want to pay. What is the difference between what Epic is doing then me going to Morton’s Steakhouse , have a ribeye and tell them I will only pay $5 and not the $49 price I saw in the menu for the steak or I will sue you? 
    Why are you addressing these questions to me?
    jknashurahara
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