Epic Games wanted a special deal for 'Fortnite' on the App Store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Apple on Friday shot back at Epic Games in a legal filing, likening the Fortnite creator to a "shoplifter" and disputing the gaming company's claims that it did not want a "special deal" on the App Store.


"Fortnite" playing on an iPad Air


The Cupertino tech giant's filing on Friday is the first actual legal response Apple has made since Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the company on Aug. 13 alleging anti-competitive behavior. Epic filed the complaint after baiting Apple to remove Fortnite from the App Store through a direct violation of its developer guidelines.

In the filing, Apple urged a U.S. federal court in San Francisco to deny Epic's claims for an "emergency" restraining order that would restore Fortnite back to the App Store. A hearing for the order is set for Monday in the Northern District of California.

The filing also likened Epic Games' insertion of a proprietary payment system to bypass its 30% App Store commission to the behavior of a shoplifter, Axios reported.

"If developers can avoid the digital checkout, it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted product: Apple does not get paid," Apple wrote in the filing.

CNBC also reported that the filing disputes that Epic Games did not want a "special deal" with the iPhone maker. Apple alleges that Epic Games asked for an individual arrangement with Apple for special treatment, and produced three emails from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney as proof.

"On June 30, 2020, Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney wrote my colleagues and me an email asking for a side letter' from Apple that would create a special deal for only Epic that would fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple's iOS platform," said Apple App Store chief Phil Schiller.

More specifically, Apple claims that Epic Games wanted permission to implement direct payment systems to bypass App Store fees. When Apple refused, Sweeney reportedly wrote back to Schiller and said that Fortnite "will no longer adhere to Apple's payment processing restrictions."

Apple argued that Epic's "emergency" was one "entirely of Epic's own making." It added that it would re-list the battle royale game in the app marketplace and would not disable Epic's developer accounts if it removed the direct payment platform. On Monday, Epic also claimed that Apple was threatening to shut down its iOS and macOS developer accounts if it did not comply with App Store guidelines.

The Fortnite maker's tactic appeared to be aimed at getting Apple to change its App Store fees, and Epic Games has attempted to recruit other developers to its cause. Within Fortnite itself, Epic is also attempting to rally players with a "FreeFortnite Cup" campaign that followed a video spoofing Apple's famous 1984 Super Bowl ad.

Although Epic has focused on Apple in its campaign, it also baited Google into removing Fortnite from the Google Play Store. Like Apple, Google charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases.

The dustup with Epic Games comes in the midst of antitrust scrutiny centered on Apple. In July, Apple CEO Tim Cook testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee as part of a broader probe into alleged monopolistic behavior.

Apple Versus Epic - Apple's Opposition to TRO by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    Keep showing Epic TRUE colors! 

    What an #EpicFail...
    castcoreBeatsspinnydlolliverDogpersonAnilu_777n2itivguyspock1234jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 77
    bsnjonbsnjon Posts: 32member
    When you leave an explicit paper trail about something, it is never a good idea to go into court pretending it doesn’t exist...
    h4y3spujones1BeatsspinnydlolliverDogpersoncornchipagilealtitudemwhiteAnilu_777
  • Reply 3 of 77
    Does Epics stance on breaking the rules with Apple and Google mean that those that play Epic games can break the rules and ignore TOS?
    BeatslollivercastcoreCuJoYYCspock1234beowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 77
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 301member
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    Beatslolliverspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 77
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    qwerty52BeatsspinnydlollivercornchipAnilu_777pulseimagesCuJoYYC9secondkox2fotoformat
  • Reply 6 of 77
    qwerty52qwerty52 Posts: 301member
    Epic is cheating even to Apple! I can’t imagine what will happen with the ordinary unprotected users then, which Epic is trying hardly to convince how good the world will be without AppStore
    How vile and dishonest that is.
    castcoreBeatslolliverAnilu_7779secondkox2jahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 77
    castcorecastcore Posts: 141member
    Apple needs to tell Epic to go stick it up you know where 
    Anilu_7779secondkox2spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 77
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,779member
    I hope Apple sticks to its guns.
    BeatsAnilu_7779secondkox2spock1234pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 77
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Apple should counter sue immediately with a massive defamation lawsuit. I’d say seeking damages of several billion dollars should do it.
    BeatslollivercornchipPizzakoerierAnilu_7779secondkox2aderutterspock1234pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 77
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    edited August 2020 elijahg
  • Reply 11 of 77
    I ask if both sides have valid points...?
    If an app is 'free' via an app store is it really 'free'?
    How should an app store be compensated for back loaded monetization?
    Locked in for perpetuity with 'in app' purchases or subscription ?
    How much should an online store be paid for introductory or ongoing support? 

    After a period of time & compensation should parties have some freedom to choose ?
    When a warranty runs out typically most vendors allow buyers to get something repaired or upgraded non OEM...
    Some will choose fuller warrantied OEM quality options, and others replace their own (batteries) depending on any number of reasons?
    If there is true customer merit in the benefits of ongoing app store support should free market principles at some point apply?
    'Life, Captivity and the Pursuit of Profit' ?
    This lifetime Apple customer is contemplating open source options for moving beyond the latest T2 and soon Apple Silicon lockdowns ...
    Never a dull moment...
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 12 of 77
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    I was referring to hosting the App. Imagine how many times a day Fortnite was downloaded during the peak of popularity, plus whenever there is an update. That costs money and resources. 

    The reason why is they AGREED to it. The App Store was created for any developer to make an app. That’s why Apple takes care of those issues. So a mom and pop developer doesn’t spend a ton of money on hosting their app, processing their payments, and breaking down what taxes they need to submit. Just because Epic is big enough to do it itself doesn’t justify breaking the agreement. 

    Your handle implies that you work in IT, so if you do, let’s put it this way. 
    Some IT specialists get several hundreds an hour for their work. Sometimes, they only need to work less than an hour, but their agreement states they get paid a minimum of let’s say 3 hours. Is that fair? Well, yes, that’s what their employers agreed to. 
    BeatsspinnydlollivermwhitetmayRayz2016applguyaderutterspock1234jahblade
  • Reply 13 of 77
    kmareikmarei Posts: 100member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    That’s like a store at a mall forcing everyone to walk through its shop and pay it commission for using its premises


  • Reply 14 of 77
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards.
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    Buddy, Apple promotes the games , delver the games, keep malware from infecting customers, and deliver software updates in a seamless manner. If your ide is executed all games and apps will be free on App Store because app developers can use charge customers after purchase.

    how will Apple survive without charging money? You think Apple is Charity? 

    You don’t know how a business works ... clearly 
    BeatsgregoriusmspinnydlolliverDogpersonmwhitePizzakoerierRayz2016CuJoYYCfotoformat
  • Reply 15 of 77
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    One could make a similar argument against any company that provides a platform/location for people to buy products from lots of different vendors. If you want to sell through Walmart, Target, Apple, or Google, you need to follow the terms that they set.
    Beatslollivermwhiteflydogapplguyuraharaspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 77
    kmareikmarei Posts: 100member
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    I was referring to hosting the App. Imagine how many times a day Fortnite was downloaded during the peak of popularity, plus whenever there is an update. That costs money and resources. 

    The reason why is they AGREED to it. The App Store was created for any developer to make an app. That’s why Apple takes care of those issues. So a mom and pop developer doesn’t spend a ton of money on hosting their app, processing their payments, and breaking down what taxes they need to submit. Just because Epic is big enough to do it itself doesn’t justify breaking the agreement. 

    Your handle implies that you work in IT, so if you do, let’s put it this way. 
    Some IT specialists get several hundreds an hour for their work. Sometimes, they only need to work less than an hour, but their agreement states they get paid a minimum of let’s say 3 hours. Is that fair? Well, yes, that’s what their employers agreed to. 
    People can download the game directly to their android phone from the fortnite servers with zero issue 
    so it’s not like fortnite couldn’t do this on their own, and it was Apple that provided this service for them.
    it’s not like Apple gave them all this exposure and made then the most popular game on the planet, they were huge before the iOS version came out.
    only reason it’s on App Store, is Apple forced them to, if they went to access iPhone users

    its exact like buying camera from amazon 
    and then amazon saying you HAVE to buy your memory cards from them
    and give them 30% markup


  • Reply 17 of 77
    I'm sorry but if you willingly pay the 30% fee to Xbox and Playstation to be on their consoles, you can hardly bitch about Apple doing the same on their App Store and platform.  
    BeatslolliverDogpersoncornchipagilealtitudePizzakoerierRayz2016CuJoYYCaderutterspock1234
  • Reply 18 of 77
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 788member
    Apple probably makes a reasonable amount from game developers.

    But, call me a puritanical old fart, but the idea of people spending their days playing and developing games instead of making a real contribution strikes me quite negatively.

    So, I'm predisposed to wanting to see Epic go under -- the less people waste their time the better. 
    CuJoYYCdavesmallspock1234pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 77
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,340member
    This is what I keep telling morons. Their spreading this false narrative that Epic "is fighting for the little guy!" when they clearly, i mean obviously, are fighting for themselves. These documents prove it.

    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  

    So no updates, no maintenance, no security, no privacy and no more hosting after it's downloaded?

    By this logic Epic games is fine being off the App Store because we've already downloaded it. Everything's done.

    kmarei said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    I was referring to hosting the App. Imagine how many times a day Fortnite was downloaded during the peak of popularity, plus whenever there is an update. That costs money and resources. 

    The reason why is they AGREED to it. The App Store was created for any developer to make an app. That’s why Apple takes care of those issues. So a mom and pop developer doesn’t spend a ton of money on hosting their app, processing their payments, and breaking down what taxes they need to submit. Just because Epic is big enough to do it itself doesn’t justify breaking the agreement. 

    Your handle implies that you work in IT, so if you do, let’s put it this way. 
    Some IT specialists get several hundreds an hour for their work. Sometimes, they only need to work less than an hour, but their agreement states they get paid a minimum of let’s say 3 hours. Is that fair? Well, yes, that’s what their employers agreed to. 
    People can download the game directly to their android phone from the fortnite servers with zero issue 
    so it’s not like fortnite couldn’t do this on their own, and it was Apple that provided this service for them.
    it’s not like Apple gave them all this exposure and made then the most popular game on the planet, they were huge before the iOS version came out.
    only reason it’s on App Store, is Apple forced them to, if they went to access iPhone users

    its exact like buying camera from amazon 
    and then amazon saying you HAVE to buy your memory cards from them
    and give them 30% markup


    If you but those memory cards from Amazon then sure. Apple doesn't make money if the pretend money Epic sells(V Bucks) is bought on a Playstation or Android.
    mwhitepujones1cakeswuraharaspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 77
    kmarei said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    qwerty52 said:
    This new fact confirms what there is behind Epic’s shouting and crying about Apple’s monopoly and about absence of freedom in AppStore.
    Money, money and ones again money!
    There really wasn’t any question about it. If Epic could have shown they have been damaged by paying Apple 30%, then they might have a point in this lawsuit. What they have shown is that Apple made them a lot of money and took care of the hosting, billing and bookkeeping for Fortnite for 30% of billions. 

    Those poor bastards. 
    Hosting?  Apple doesn't host the game servers.  They host the server where a tiny app lives that Apple forces Epic customer to download from.  That's it.  Once downloaded, Apple's job is done.  Why should Apple get 30% for "billing and bookkeeping" when Epic is perfectly capable of doing that itself if not for the fact that Apple forces them to go through Apple and pay 30%?  I wonder how many bookkeepers in the companies of the world get 30% of the companies revenue (not profit, but gross revenue)?  I'd venture a guess of practically NONE.

    To be fair, Epic should charge $1.99 for the app, and Apple gets 30% of that.  Then, all the IAP's are through Epic payment systems since Apple has nothing to do with that.  
    I was referring to hosting the App. Imagine how many times a day Fortnite was downloaded during the peak of popularity, plus whenever there is an update. That costs money and resources. 

    The reason why is they AGREED to it. The App Store was created for any developer to make an app. That’s why Apple takes care of those issues. So a mom and pop developer doesn’t spend a ton of money on hosting their app, processing their payments, and breaking down what taxes they need to submit. Just because Epic is big enough to do it itself doesn’t justify breaking the agreement. 

    Your handle implies that you work in IT, so if you do, let’s put it this way. 
    Some IT specialists get several hundreds an hour for their work. Sometimes, they only need to work less than an hour, but their agreement states they get paid a minimum of let’s say 3 hours. Is that fair? Well, yes, that’s what their employers agreed to. 
    People can download the game directly to their android phone from the fortnite servers with zero issue 


    Epic tried to avoid the Google Play store at first but realised it was limiting their sales. So yes, you can instal Fortnight directly without using the Play Store but it’s not without issue. 

    The difference is like selling a product out of your car on the side of the road versus getting it stocked at Walmart. 

    Paying only a 30% commission to have your app stocked In the 2 most popular app stores in the world seems like a great deal to me. 

    edited August 2020 titantigerpujones1killroydavesmallwatto_cobraDetnator
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