Apple 'won't make an exception' for Epic to skirt App Store rules

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Days after Epic slapped Apple with a lawsuit over the removal of Fortnite from the App Store, Apple on Monday again publicly responded to the developer's allegations of monopolistic practices, saying no exceptions will be made to its guidelines.

Fortnite Parody Ad


Apple's first statement on Epic's broadside legal attack was issued to The Verge on Monday.

As expected, the tech giant is not backing down from the legal challenge -- and bruising PR campaign -- saying Epic created the problem for itself by sidestepping App Store guidelines when it released an update to Fortnite last week. That problem, and the legal mire in which both companies now find themselves, can be easily remedied.

The latest version of the app, which was quickly pulled from the online marketplace last Thursday, incorporated an option to pay Epic directly for in-app content, blatantly flouting Apple's developer agreement. A corresponding update for Android was yanked from the Google Play Store for similar reasons.
The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.
The statement offered on Monday borrowed from a release last week, but added wording to emphasize that it is Epic to blame for the fiasco. In particular, Apple makes clear the gaming company will not receive special treatment on the App Store.

Earlier today, Epic revealed Apple is threatening to terminate the game maker's developer account and cut off access to iOS and Mac development tools. If Apple moves forward with its planned course of action, Epic will no longer be able to update the Unreal Engine on which many iOS and Mac games are built.






Epic filed a temporary restraining order to halt Apple's escalation, saying the iPhone maker "is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    digitoldigitol Posts: 241member
    Battle of the arrogance. I know who will win. :wink: 
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  • Reply 2 of 53
    digitol said:
    Battle of the arrogance. I know who will win. :wink: 
    I forget who said this, some French guy I think (I am paraphrasing): "The surest way to fool yourself is to think you're smarter than others."

    Epic.

    (I meant to post this here, not the other thread).
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  • Reply 3 of 53
    fordeefordee Posts: 29member
    Effectively Epic want to create their own App Store on Apple’s platform. Somehow, I don’t think so.
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  • Reply 4 of 53
    Why does epic think it can get around the system yet every other app can’t but them?
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  • Reply 5 of 53
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 912member
    Sounds like someone is having a public meltdown. 
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  • Reply 6 of 53
    I hope Epic gets epically bitch-slapped in court. And I hope Apple yanks them from the ecosystem completely. Apple's devices, Apple's rules. Don't like it, develop for Android exclusively and see how that works out for you financially.
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  • Reply 7 of 53
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,502member
    I'll just say having worked for Steve twice, if he were presently alive and most likely the Chairman of Apple he would demand EPIC be banned for life after the parody video of 1984 that he and his team worked their asses off to introduce the Macintosh to the globe. Obviously, he would have officially gone through legal channels but I wouldn't have put it past Steve to really hang out the CEO of EPIC by going on say CNBC or some other Wall Street show to explain how such a destructive stunt it is for professionals to pull when trying to build long term relationships.

    Tim is far more judicious. Steve would have belittled the hell out of him as only Steve could do.
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  • Reply 8 of 53
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    I'll just say having worked for Steve twice, if he were presently alive and most likely the Chairman of Apple he would demand EPIC be banned for life after the parody video of 1984 that he and his team worked their asses off to introduce the Macintosh to the globe. Obviously, he would have officially gone through legal channels but I wouldn't have put it past Steve to really hang out the CEO of EPIC by going on say CNBC or some other Wall Street show to explain how such a destructive stunt it is for professionals to pull when trying to build long term relationships.

    Tim is far more judicious. Steve would have belittled the hell out of him as only Steve could do.

    Tim is way too nice.

    Steve would have hired the best engineers in the world to create a better engine than Unreal and make it exclusive for Apple developers. With Apple Silicon Macs, this is the perform time to create one engine for Apple platforms.

    Which makes me wonder, since Apple platforms will be truly cross-compatible if in the near future apps and games will display "For Apple" instead of "for iOS" /  "for MacOS".
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  • Reply 9 of 53
    I am not talking about the epic situation here. But can Apple’s iOS, Sony’s PlayStation or MS Xbox legally ok to ban any company forever? I mean all these companies have a closed system, unlike Google’s android or MS’s windows or even Apple’s OSX.

    it is not like Apple ban any porn app or spyware because of policy violation.

    anyone?
  • Reply 10 of 53
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    "Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them
    — Chance The Rapper Album in July (@chancetherapper) ;July 13, 2018"

    Epic stole dance moves from popular black artists and sold them to kids for a profit. The artists did not receive a penny or recognition for their work.

    #BlackLivesMatter
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  • Reply 11 of 53
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 311member

    Apple 'won't make an exception' for Epic to skirt App Store rules“


    And why should it? It is not Apple willing to use Epic’s store. It is just opposite around.
    What Epic is doing, is the perfect definition of the word “ ARROGANCE “
    pulseimagesBeatsjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 53
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 152member
    viclauyyc said:
    I am not talking about the epic situation here. But can Apple’s iOS, Sony’s PlayStation or MS Xbox legally ok to ban any company forever? I mean all these companies have a closed system, unlike Google’s android or MS’s windows or even Apple’s OSX.

    it is not like Apple ban any porn app or spyware because of policy violation.

    anyone?

    I don't game, and find it hard to argue in favor of one enormously rich company over another, in essentially what is a battle over money, but at the very simplest level, yes, Apple can banish apps, or developers, for not conforming to the rules it has established for its app store.

    How this gets decided, and it will be decided in court, or the legislature, not public opinion, will essentially be determined by how the definition of a market is seen by the adjudicators.

    What Apple (as well as Google, Sony, Microsoft, etc.) does is not unique.  The question that must be decided is whether the App Store, and Apple's control over iOS constitutes an illegal abuse of market power.

    If one looks at it only within the context of the Apple ecosystem, then perhaps yes, since Apple is the only source of apps, sometimes puts their own 1st party apps at an advantage over 3rd party apps (such as browsers), and gets to call all the shots.

    If one looks at it in terms of iOS as one choice in the mobile computing market, and Android, or even Tizen as others, then no, since consumers are free to choose them, instead of iOS.

    These practices extend beyond gaming, and tech as well.

    Walmart is free to select which products it offers in stores, with suppliers subject to its rules to land coveted, or even just preferential, shelf space.  There is nothing that says that it must carry Coke if it decides only to carry Pepsi.  Coke lovers can go find it at Target. (You see this played out all the time in fast food chains.)

    Walmart, or any other store, choose to carry both Coke and Pepsi because that it what its potential customers want to buy, not because they are bound to.  Nor are they bound to offer the same terms, or reach the same agreements with every supplier.  Those details are business agreements unique to supplier, such as Apple cutting Amazon a break in order to get the Prime app on AppleTVs.  Yes, the truth is that some are more "equal" than others, and if you believe otherwise, I have a bridge you may be interested in.

    Conversely, producers also have the choice to decide which retailer carries their products, subject to their marketing desires, and terms regarding dealer/distributor/support requirements, which often involve pricing rules and inventory/volume/sales quantities.

    Recall that at one point, Costco banished Apple products altogether, and nobody raised a stink about that, least of all, Apple.  But the two mended fences, and came to a mutually agreeable arrangement, and Apple products returned.

    Closed markets are not inherently illegal, and if they are, then a lot of businesses aside form Apple should worry, including sports teams (no outside food/drink in the stadium), concerts (ditto, plus obscenely overpriced t-shirts), airports (TSA says nothing larger than 3.4oz liquid allowed in; thirsty?  Buy a $4 bottled water from their concessionaire), etc.  Even restaurants.  What if I choose to bring my own wine, and pour it myself?  Why do I have to pay some outrageous corkage fee?  Well, sir, you're free to eat elsewhere.

    These are very calculated moves, especially on Epic's part, trying to characterize this a some principled fight, and court public opinion, when it's really about money, for both sides.  Spotify, Facebook, and others are all getting their shots in while they can.  They just ask us not to look closely at their behavior, especially Zuck.
    edited August 2020 tenthousandthingsqwerty52razorpitaderutterradarthekatmuthuk_vanalingampulseimagesPascalxxviclauyycjony0
  • Reply 13 of 53
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,273member
    Epic is missing the point of the 1984 imagery. Apple actual created  their own platform called Mac and user the commercial to introduce it. They were not trying to control someone else’s platform. 
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  • Reply 14 of 53
    Apple said:
     ... We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.
    ... If Apple moves forward with its planned course of action, Epic will no longer be able to update the Unreal Engine ... Epic filed a temporary restraining order to halt Apple's escalation, saying the iPhone maker "is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas."
    So, basically, Epic’s strategy assumed Apple would not ban them as a developer. I wonder if this is standard practice for developers who purposely try to circumvent the in-app rules, or if it is an exception.

    If it is an exception, it’s funny because Epic wanted Apple to make an exception for them, and they will have. Just not the exception they wanted!

    If it is not, and this is standard practice, then it just shows how ill-considered the whole gambit has been.
    headfull0winemainyehcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 53
    Beats said:
    "Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes. Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them
    — Chance The Rapper Album in July (@chancetherapper) ;July 13, 2018"

    Epic stole dance moves from popular black artists and sold them to kids for a profit. The artists did not receive a penny or recognition for their work.

    #BlackLivesMatter
    This is not to start a race conversation but I have a question. Why do you say black artist ? Does it make it worse because they were black artist ? Would you feel the same had they been white artist ? Why not just say they stole from popular artist ? Singling out black in this case does not make the argument anymore valid.
    radarthekatmuthuk_vanalingampulseimagesuraharacat52FileMakerFellerjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 53
    Apple said:
     ... We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.
    ... If Apple moves forward with its planned course of action, Epic will no longer be able to update the Unreal Engine ... Epic filed a temporary restraining order to halt Apple's escalation, saying the iPhone maker "is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas."
    So, basically, Epic’s strategy assumed Apple would not ban them as a developer. I wonder if this is standard practice for developers who purposely try to circumvent the in-app rules, or if it is an exception.

    If it is an exception, it’s funny because Epic wanted Apple to make an exception for them, and they will have. Just not the exception they wanted!

    If it is not, and this is standard practice, then it just shows how ill-considered the whole gambit has been.
    I can confrim that Apple removing developer accounts for not adhering to the rules is normal practice. 

    I saw this firsthand several years ago. 

    Apple are doing what they always do, giving the developer a chance to undo their attempt at working the system or removing features that don’t comply with the rules they agreed to. 

    Apple are the good guys in all this throughout as you would expect of a company with their responsibilities.
    radarthekatjas99pulseimagesFileMakerFellerviclauyycjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 53
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,330member
    Apple said:
     ... We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.
    ... If Apple moves forward with its planned course of action, Epic will no longer be able to update the Unreal Engine ... Epic filed a temporary restraining order to halt Apple's escalation, saying the iPhone maker "is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas."
    So, basically, Epic’s strategy assumed Apple would not ban them as a developer. I wonder if this is standard practice for developers who purposely try to circumvent the in-app rules, or if it is an exception.

    If it is an exception, it’s funny because Epic wanted Apple to make an exception for them, and they will have. Just not the exception they wanted!

    If it is not, and this is standard practice, then it just shows how ill-considered the whole gambit has been.
    What Epic did with Fortnight to bypass Apple in app paying method, did not result in Apple saying that they will pull Epic developer license at the end of the month. All Apple did was to ban Fortnight from the App Store. 

    Apple discovered Epic was violating several other rules of their enterprise developer license and informed Epic that their license will be pulled unless they remedy it by the end of the month. There has been no mention of what those violations entails. Or at least I haven't found any source with detail about those other violations. But my guess is that it's on the scale of what Facebook did in violation of Apple Enterprise Developer license, when the allowed non employees to side load a data mining app. 


    Apple threat of pulling Epic developer license is a separate issue, but Epic is making it seem that Apple is threatening to pull their developer license over what they did with updating Fortnight to bypass Apple in app paying method. And that is not true. All Apple did was to ban Fortnight from the App Store, until Epic fixed Fortnight to conform with the App Store rules. Like they would do with all apps that didn't conform to App Store rules. One does not lose their developer license just because they had an app that didn't conform to the App Store rules. How would Apple expect you to fix the problem than got your app banned, if they took alway your developer license and the use of the tools needed to fix the problem?  
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  • Reply 18 of 53
    epic fail. 
    pulseimagesanantksundaramviclauyycjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 53
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 879member
    This is really simple- Epic can go build HW if it wants.
    Apple does not hide the fact that the App Store is the way to get programs and they take a cut for hosting and distribution.

    pulseimagesjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 53
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,583member
    Do you think Epic allows game developers to sell IAP & DLC via their own personal in-game stores? Or do you think Epic requires devs to use the Epic system? I know the answer. Epic reserves for itself the same platform control they're complaining about Apple having (yet remain mum about Xbox and Sony having)
    edited August 2020 tmaywatto_cobra
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