Epic Games appears to out Apple VR development in Fortnite dispute

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 4
Epic Games appears to have outed Apple development on virtual reality platforms as part of its dispute with the iPhone maker.

Credit: Facebook
Credit: Facebook


The game studio recently implemented a direct payment system in an apparent attempt to bait Apple into removing Fortnite from the App Store. Apple did, and in response Epic filed a prepared lawsuit accompanying social media campaign.

On Monday, Epic Games said that Apple was threatening further action -- including cutting off access to its developer accounts and tools. Epic also published a letter from Apple that appeared to contain a reference to VR systems.

As a result of having its developer accounts terminated, Apple said that Epic Games would lose access to "adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team," among other capabilities.

Apple's ARKit is a development framework developers can use to create augmented reality apps for iPhones. But Apple doesn't currently have any sort of public-facing VR products or features.

AR refers to augmented reality systems that overlay digital elements on top of a real-world environment, while VR is generally a completely virtualized environment typically used for gaming.

The Cupertino company is largely expected to debut an AR headset that acts as an accessory to an iPhone, perhaps under the "Apple Glass" moniker. But there have not been as many rumors pointing toward an Apple VR-type product.

There are signs that Apple is developing some type of VR system, however. A recently published patent application suggests that Apple is working on a VR headset that wouldn't be transparent like "Apple Glass." In May, the company acquired VR video streaming startup NextVR.

While the promise of an Apple VR solution is tantalizing, it's possible that the "VR features" mentioned in Apple's letter could simply refer to existing partnerships with third-party VR firms like HTC Vive Pro.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    Not as cool as Biden outing the electric Corvette.
    ramanpfaffwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Seriously though, there are no winners in this.

    Just brain-dumping:
    Apple platforms could lose all (future) Unreal-based games, Epic seems tantrum-angry enough to just amputate an arm and ignore the bleeding.
    ...then again, Unreal-engine is not really going away since engine users/customers can still keep building for Apple platforms using the source.
    Epic games could lose distribution channels outside of just Apple on this journey.
    Epic could lose engine customers on mobile platforms, they are not the only engine provider, a very good one but not the only one.

    Here is what the various industry players offer as revenue split (some anecdotally):
    Store			Rev. Cut
    ------------------------------------------------
    Twitch 50%
    Apple App Store 30%
    Google Play Store 30%
    Valve Steam 30%, 25% $10mil+, 20% $50mil+
    Amazon App Store 30%
    Sony 30% (*)
    Microsoft 30% (*)
    Nintendo 30% (*)
    Epic Games Store 12%
    Discord Store 10%

    Most players play Fortnite on consoles, so where is Epic's ire at Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft for their console online stores? Don't they all just take the same cut as Apple? Surely they have similar rules with payment methods?
    digital_guyStrangeDayskillroymagman1979ronngregoriusmspock1234applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 29
    Epic is trying hard to villainize Apple, and regardless of who's right in this dispute, Epic's tactics are making themselves look more and more like the bad guy. 
    Beatsplanetary paulStrangeDayskillroymagman1979ronnRayz2016mwhitetmayaderutter
  • Reply 4 of 29
    jeroenhmg said:

    Apple platforms could lose all (future) Unreal-based games, Epic seems tantrum-angry enough to just amputate an arm and ignore the bleeding.
    ...then again, Unreal-engine is not really going away since engine users/customers can still keep building for Apple platforms using the source.
    Epic games could lose distribution channels outside of just Apple on this journey.
    Epic could lose engine customers on mobile platforms, they are not the only engine provider, a very good one but not the only one.

    It's not just a matter of being 'a very good one', it's a matter of it's the most powerful by a country mile, with easily portability between platforms using familiar languages for software developers. The runners-up don't even come close. Legions of indie game developers for iOS right now would be both (a) out of a job or (b) forced to undergo retraining to keep their jobs, should their companies want to stay on iOS. True, any good developer should be able to transition between platforms with relative ease but it's not an overnight process. It can take months, or even years, to perfect the talent. To use a different example, an airline can't just replace all its Boeing with Airbus - they'd need all new pilots.

    Asking developers to abandon Unreal would be as silly as asking end users to abandon iOS. It's not going to happen. True, there was a time when no one thought that the rail companies would disappear, or US Steel would be broken up, or AT&T would have competition, or Microsoft would face scrutiny - the world is a history of monopolies and giants. iOS is one in the mobile platform undeniably, and likewise Unreal is in the gaming world. Some of Apple's biggest games marketing for Apple Arcade are powered by Unreal, and that is something Apple doesn't want to forfit.
    jeroenhmgelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 29
    Apple has many options available to them. Epic has nothing that will replace lost iOS revenue. A billion potential platforms for their software? Epic should fire their CEO.
    killroymagman1979altivec88tmayaderutterspock1234jony0applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 29
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,527member
    tele1234 said:
    jeroenhmg said:

    Apple platforms could lose all (future) Unreal-based games, Epic seems tantrum-angry enough to just amputate an arm and ignore the bleeding.
    ...then again, Unreal-engine is not really going away since engine users/customers can still keep building for Apple platforms using the source.
    Epic games could lose distribution channels outside of just Apple on this journey.
    Epic could lose engine customers on mobile platforms, they are not the only engine provider, a very good one but not the only one.

    It's not just a matter of being 'a very good one', it's a matter of it's the most powerful by a country mile, with easily portability between platforms using familiar languages for software developers. The runners-up don't even come close. Legions of indie game developers for iOS right now would be both (a) out of a job or (b) forced to undergo retraining to keep their jobs, should their companies want to stay on iOS. True, any good developer should be able to transition between platforms with relative ease but it's not an overnight process. It can take months, or even years, to perfect the talent. To use a different example, an airline can't just replace all its Boeing with Airbus - they'd need all new pilots.

    Asking developers to abandon Unreal would be as silly as asking end users to abandon iOS. It's not going to happen. True, there was a time when no one thought that the rail companies would disappear, or US Steel would be broken up, or AT&T would have competition, or Microsoft would face scrutiny - the world is a history of monopolies and giants. iOS is one in the mobile platform undeniably, and likewise Unreal is in the gaming world. Some of Apple's biggest games marketing for Apple Arcade are powered by Unreal, and that is something Apple doesn't want to forfit.

    Apple should just develop a superior engine and destroy Epic.

    With Apple Silicon Macs coming they can develop an engine that simultaneously works with Mac/iPad/iPhone/Apple TV. This can cuase an explosion in Apple Arcade support. Imagine your game releases simultaneously on all Apple platforms with little work. Developers would be drooling.

    Also, Apple should start "Gaming" the Apple Watch. That's a billion dollar market just waiting. And I don't mean tic-tac-toe on your Watch I mean full scale adventures that connect to Apple TV and real life physical fitness.
    ronnaderutterspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 29
    killroykillroy Posts: 160member
    jeroenhmg said:
    Seriously though, there are no winners in this.

    Just brain-dumping:
    Apple platforms could lose all (future) Unreal-based games, Epic seems tantrum-angry enough to just amputate an arm and ignore the bleeding.
    ...then again, Unreal-engine is not really going away since engine users/customers can still keep building for Apple platforms using the source.
    Epic games could lose distribution channels outside of just Apple on this journey.
    Epic could lose engine customers on mobile platforms, they are not the only engine provider, a very good one but not the only one.

    Here is what the various industry players offer as revenue split (some anecdotally):
    Store			Rev. Cut
    ------------------------------------------------
    Twitch 50%
    Apple App Store 30%
    Google Play Store 30%
    Valve Steam 30%, 25% $10mil+, 20% $50mil+
    Amazon App Store 30%
    Sony 30% (*)
    Microsoft 30% (*)
    Nintendo 30% (*)
    Epic Games Store 12%
    Discord Store 10%

    Most players play Fortnite on consoles, so where is Epic's ire at Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft for their console online stores? Don't they all just take the same cut as Apple? Surely they have similar rules with payment methods?

     

    Twitch 50% Jezzz. I think Epics case should be thrown out of court.
    edited August 2020 magman1979Beatsaderutterspock1234sully54jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 29
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,527member
    killroy said:
    jeroenhmg said:
    Seriously though, there are no winners in this.

    Just brain-dumping:
    Apple platforms could lose all (future) Unreal-based games, Epic seems tantrum-angry enough to just amputate an arm and ignore the bleeding.
    ...then again, Unreal-engine is not really going away since engine users/customers can still keep building for Apple platforms using the source.
    Epic games could lose distribution channels outside of just Apple on this journey.
    Epic could lose engine customers on mobile platforms, they are not the only engine provider, a very good one but not the only one.

    Here is what the various industry players offer as revenue split (some anecdotally):
    Store			Rev. Cut
    ------------------------------------------------
    Twitch 50%
    Apple App Store 30%
    Google Play Store 30%
    Valve Steam 30%, 25% $10mil+, 20% $50mil+
    Amazon App Store 30%
    Sony 30% (*)
    Microsoft 30% (*)
    Nintendo 30% (*)
    Epic Games Store 12%
    Discord Store 10%

    Most players play Fortnite on consoles, so where is Epic's ire at Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft for their console online stores? Don't they all just take the same cut as Apple? Surely they have similar rules with payment methods?

    Twitch 50% Jezzz. I think Epics case should be thrown out of court.


    You don't wanna read the dumb CEOs response to this.... he's more of a jackass than you think.
    spock1234jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Apple has many options available to them. Epic has nothing that will replace lost iOS revenue. A billion potential platforms for their software? Epic should fire their CEO.
    Since Epic is a privately held company and Sweeney is a co-founder, I don't think he'll fire himself. Say, did I miss the Apple press release where they Open Sourced the Apple Mobile OS's? This whining that Apple is a monopoly is just sharks circling waiting for the chum - but, I think the outcome will be shark fin soup.
    ronnFileMakerFellerjony0killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 29
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,756member
    So much graphics talk;
    Keeping games native vs streamed.
    Working with Imgtech again.
    Pushing AR, buying VR.
    Epic claiming they’ll kick all Unreal developers off the App Store (accuser guilt - means THEY won’t continue to develop Unreal for Metal).
    Apple Metal2 supporting 1st party GPU family despite having no dGPU, yet.

    It’s almost as if they’re about to release a new graphics tech.
    aderutterspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 29
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,724member
    For the uninitiated, Epic's Unreal Engine 5 demo:


    edited August 2020 gregoriusmravnorodomkillroy
  • Reply 12 of 29
    Beats said:

    Apple should just develop a superior engine and destroy Epic.

    With Apple Silicon Macs coming they can develop an engine that simultaneously works with Mac/iPad/iPhone/Apple TV. This can cuase an explosion in Apple Arcade support. Imagine your game releases simultaneously on all Apple platforms with little work. Developers would be drooling.

    Also, Apple should start "Gaming" the Apple Watch. That's a billion dollar market just waiting. And I don't mean tic-tac-toe on your Watch I mean full scale adventures that connect to Apple TV and real life physical fitness.

    Do they have the capital, and the talent? Almost assuredly. However, there is a reason they wouldn't. Creating a game engine as feature-rich as Unreal isn't something that happens with a few years of development, it's a multi-decade evolution if codebase in response to market demands, trends and requirements. It'd be more complex than them building their own instruction set, something I'm sure they wouldn't touch on (yet?) just because they'd rather build on what's already built. If Apple built a game engine today, even if they poured the entire net worth of the company into it, it just couldn't be as developed as Unreal (Or any other engine) until we're installing iOS 30 or something ridiculous, just because it's built on so much prior evolution.

    Deploying to all platforms? That's not something you have to imagine, Unreal does that, but so can many other engines. Unreal lets you not only deploy to all iOS platforms but almost literally all platforms, and lets games be developed platform-agnostic until pretty far in the process. It's a driving force in the games industry for a reason, and with that industry being worth a quarter of a trillion a year I'm not sure even apple has the clout to really combat it successfully - they'd have more chance reinventing the car.
    edited August 2020 fastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 29
    iqatedo said:
    For the uninitiated, Epic's Unreal Engine 5 demo:


    I do not understand a word the guy on the right saying. But the graphic is freaking awesome. Live rendering of global illumination, detail polygons and other goodies. Superior rendering engine indeed! Can't wait for PS5!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    onlyhope said:
    Apple has many options available to them. Epic has nothing that will replace lost iOS revenue. A billion potential platforms for their software? Epic should fire their CEO.
    Since Epic is a privately held company and Sweeney is a co-founder, I don't think he'll fire himself. Say, did I miss the Apple press release where they Open Sourced the Apple Mobile OS's? This whining that Apple is a monopoly is just sharks circling waiting for the chum - but, I think the outcome will be shark fin soup.
    According to Wikipedia coverage, Sweeney owns something less than 50% of the company and “Tencent” holds 40% (Tencent is a China-based company that owns “WeChat”, which is one of the apps to be banned from the US).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

    Sounds like with the large China part ownership of the company, they could be a national security risk and they need to be banned from US app stores anyway.
    edited August 2020 spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 29
    According to Wikipedia coverage, Sweeney owns something less than 50% of the company and “Tencent” holds 40% (Tencent is a China-based company that owns “WeChat”, which is one of the apps to be banned from the US).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

    Sounds like with the large China part ownership of the company, they could be a national security risk and they need to be banned from US app stores anyway.

    Should this also extend to League of Legends, Call of Duty, Clash of Clans (et. all), World of Warcraft, PUBG, AMC cinemas, GE Appliances and Legendary Pictures?
    fastasleepkillroy
  • Reply 16 of 29
    jeroenhmg said:
    Not as cool as Biden outing the electric Corvette.
    200 mph. I’ll take one. :)
  • Reply 17 of 29
    Beats said:
    Apple should just develop a superior engine and destroy Epic.

    With Apple Silicon Macs coming they can develop an engine that simultaneously works with Mac/iPad/iPhone/Apple TV. This can cuase an explosion in Apple Arcade support. Imagine your game releases simultaneously on all Apple platforms with little work. Developers would be drooling.

    Also, Apple should start "Gaming" the Apple Watch. That's a billion dollar market just waiting. And I don't mean tic-tac-toe on your Watch I mean full scale adventures that connect to Apple TV and real life physical fitness.
    Excellent ideas all. The move to Apple Silicon should make it easier for Apple to do what you suggested. I would be very surprised if Apple isn't already working on such things. In fact, there is no reason Apple's engine can't be multi-platform, just like Unreal. Apple certainly has the talent and money to make it happen. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 29

    tele1234 said:
    According to Wikipedia coverage, Sweeney owns something less than 50% of the company and “Tencent” holds 40% (Tencent is a China-based company that owns “WeChat”, which is one of the apps to be banned from the US).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

    Sounds like with the large China part ownership of the company, they could be a national security risk and they need to be banned from US app stores anyway.

    Should this also extend to League of Legends, Call of Duty, Clash of Clans (et. all), World of Warcraft, PUBG, AMC cinemas, GE Appliances and Legendary Pictures?
    YES!!

    Except for AMC cinemas. The Chinese paid a pretty penny for that, and it is hemorrhaging money thanks to China's own virus.
    SpamSandwichkillroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    tele1234 said:
    According to Wikipedia coverage, Sweeney owns something less than 50% of the company and “Tencent” holds 40% (Tencent is a China-based company that owns “WeChat”, which is one of the apps to be banned from the US).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

    Sounds like with the large China part ownership of the company, they could be a national security risk and they need to be banned from US app stores anyway.

    Should this also extend to League of Legends, Call of Duty, Clash of Clans (et. all), World of Warcraft, PUBG, AMC cinemas, GE Appliances and Legendary Pictures?
    We’ll get there. Don’t be impatient.

    And don’t forget about Lenovo, which used to be IBM’s portable computer business.
    edited August 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    tele1234 said:
    It can take months, or even years, to perfect the talent. To use a different example, an airline can't just replace all its Boeing with Airbus - they'd need all new pilots.
    Or, the airlines could just re-certify their Boeing pilots on Airbus planes.
    tele1234 said:
    Creating a game engine as feature-rich as Unreal isn't something that happens with a few years of development, it's a multi-decade evolution if codebase in response to market demands, trends and requirements. It'd be more complex than them building their own instruction set, something I'm sure they wouldn't touch on (yet?) just because they'd rather build on what's already built. If Apple built a game engine today, even if they poured the entire net worth of the company into it, it just couldn't be as developed as Unreal (Or any other engine) until we're installing iOS 30 or something ridiculous, just because it's built on so much prior evolution.
    "Multi-decade evolution"? What!!! How many decades did it take Epic to build Unreal? If Epic could create Unreal 'building on what's already built', why could Apple not do the same?
    tele1234 said:
    If Apple built a game engine today, even if they poured the entire net worth of the company into it, it just couldn't be as developed as Unreal (Or any other engine) until we're installing iOS 30 or something ridiculous, just because it's built on so much prior evolution.
    You clearly have no idea what a Trillion dollars can do. Didn't Apple develop an emulator (Rosetta 2) that emulates x86 code faster than that code runs natively on x86? I bet it did not cost them anywhere near a Trillion dollars. 

    Stop exaggerating Epic's accomplishment with Unreal, and stop underestimating Apple. You sound like the CEOs of Palm and RIM.
    edited August 2020 sully54jony0killroywatto_cobra
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