Epic CEO Tim Sweeney grilled on platform agreements, V-Bucks

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 3
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on Monday testified in the Epic Games v. Apple case, laying out and defending his reasoning behind Epic's suit against Apple.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


Two of the major points of contention for Epic in its beef with Apple are the restriction on third-party app stores and Apple's 30% cut of app and in-app purchases.

"Epic didn't initially take a critical view of Apple's policies," Sweeney said. "It took a very long time for me to come to the realization of all the negative impacts of Apple's policy.

In his testimony, the Epic Games chief executive called "Fortnite" a "phenomenon that transcends gaming." He also described the battle royale game as a "metaverse" that includes social experiences and other virtual features.

When asked about whether there was a difference between Apple's 30% of app purchases and similar commissions paid to console makers, Sweeney said there's a "general bargain" in the gaming industry. Consoles sell at a loss and need game developers, while Apple sells the iPhone at a profit.

During the cross-examination, Sweeney was also asked about the "special deal" that Epic Games wanted from Apple. He characterized that inquiry as Epic Games wanting to come to an agreement with Apple, not a request for special treatment.

On the hot fix that ultimately resulted in "Fortnite's" removal from the App Store, Sweeney said he "wanted the world to see that Apple exercises total control over the availability of all software on iOS."

Sweeney was also grilled on V-Bucks, the in-game currency of "Fortnite." Apple's lawyer asked about the marginal cost of a V-Buck. Sweeney said there wasn't any costs to produce them.

At one point during the testimony, Apple's lawyer put up a chart showing the polices of other companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. That includes taking a 30% commission, prohibiting the side-loading of apps, and requiring the use of a first-party payment system. During another portion of questioning, Sweeney says Epic Games continues to sell V-Bucks on those platforms because it agrees with the business models of those companies.

Sweeney also confirmed Epic charged developers a 60% fee when it distributed other games on its platform in the 1990s.

Apple's lawyers also asked why Sweeney didn't voice concerns when Epic Games originally signed a contact with the Cupertino company. Sweeney answered by saying he didn't try to renegotiate.

The Epic Games CEO also said he actually wasn't "completely certain" that Apple would actually remove "Fortnite" from the App Store after the implementation of the direct payment system. But he "hoped Apple would reconsider its policies."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    omasouomasou Posts: 170member
    If these quotes are even remotely correct. How in the world is this guy a CEO of any company?

    So consoles hardware is sold at a loss therefore they deserve a 30% commission rate but Apple makes a profit selling hardware so they do not? Really? Do you seriously think someone who has gone to college, law school and had the experience to become a judge is stupid enough to buy that line of reasoning? Please!
    edited May 3 dewmerepressthislolliveragilealtitudeStrangeDaysBeatsGraeme000jahbladebakerzdosenradarthekat
  • Reply 2 of 72
    What a tool. Companies that dare to make a profit on something should then have to give access to his company for free. But if you sell your hardware at a loss - you can do what you ant for fees and charging. That's a well thought out legal point...

    Fortnite means a lot to the under 12 crowd. So I guess it's there parents who are happy the day is off iOS for now.


    repressthisbageljoeylolliverStrangeDaysGraeme000Beatstmayradarthekatspock1234fotoformat
  • Reply 3 of 72
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,663member
    So because Apple makes a profit, it should not be allowed to charge as much as the competition?  Is Sweeney really believing his own BS?

    F******g tool.
    lolliverStrangeDaysradarthekatwilliamlondonaderutterpscooter63Dogpersonronnanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 72
    Also he had to admit that all the other services take 30% commission.  His platform takes a 12% commission and loses money.  Not making a strong argument for Apple abusing it's position.
    lolliverradarthekataderutterpscooter63ronnanantksundaramwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 72
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    Sweeney Turdd
    lolliverStrangeDaysspock1234qwerty52hammeroftruthwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 72
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,230member
    Also he had to admit that all the other services take 30% commission.  His platform takes a 12% commission and loses money.  Not making a strong argument for Apple abusing it's position.
    So 12% is unprofitable but 30% and 15% if they stay a year on subscriptions is a problem. Really?  Just because you loose money and get rich off venture capital doesn’t mean other companies shouldn’t be able to make a profit. 

    Apple also factor their effective commission rate at 8%. 
    lolliverradarthekatspock1234ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 72
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,230member

    Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on Monday testified in the Epic Games v. Apple case, laying out and defending his reasoning behind Epic's suit against Apple.

    Credit: AppleInsider
    Credit: AppleInsider


    Two of the major points of contention for Epic in its beef with Apple are the restriction on third-party app stores and Apple's 30% cut of app and in-app purchases.

    "Epic didn't initially take a critical view of Apple's policies," Sweeney said. "It took a very long time for me to come to the realization of all the negative impacts of Apple's policy.

    In his testimony, the Epic Games chief executive called "Fortnite" a "phenomenon that transcends gaming." He also described the battle royale game as a "metaverse" that includes social experiences and other virtual features.

    When asked about whether there was a difference between Apple's 30% of app purchases and similar commissions paid to console makers, Sweeney said there's a "general bargain" in the gaming industry. Consoles sell at a loss and need game developers, while Apple sells the iPhone at a profit.

    During the cross-examination, Sweeney was also asked about the "special deal" that Epic Games wanted from Apple. He characterized that inquiry as Epic Games wanting to come to an agreement with Apple, not a request for special treatment.

    On the hot fix that ultimately resulted in "Fortnite's" removal from the App Store, Sweeney said he "wanted the world to see that Apple exercises total control over the availability of all software on iOS."

    Sweeney was also grilled on V-Bucks, the in-game currency of "Fortnite." Apple's lawyer asked about the marginal cost of a V-Buck. Sweeney said there wasn't any costs to produce them.

    At one point during the testimony, Apple's lawyer put up a chart showing the polices of other companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. That includes taking a 30% commission, prohibiting the side-loading of apps, and requiring the use of a first-party payment system. During another portion of questioning, Sweeney says Epic Games continues to sell V-Bucks on those platforms because it agrees with the business models of those companies.

    Sweeney also confirmed Epic charged developers a 60% fee when it distributed other games on its platform in the 1990s.

    Apple's lawyers also asked why Sweeney didn't voice concerns when Epic Games originally signed a contact with the Cupertino company. Sweeney answered by saying he didn't try to renegotiate.

    The Epic Games CEO also said he actually wasn't "completely certain" that Apple would actually remove "Fortnite" from the App Store after the implementation of the direct payment system. But he "hoped Apple would reconsider its policies."
    He new damn well they would remove it. That’s why he spent a ton on a commercial mimicking Apple’s and had law suites and ads hitting the next day. 
    martinp13pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 72
    joekewejoekewe Posts: 26member
    Maybe it's just the screen cap, but it looks like this guy is being deposed against one of the most powerful corporations in history ... from his attic? But I gotta give him credit for the Apple ][ in the background.
    edited May 3 spock1234h2pjd_in_sbwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 72
    uraharaurahara Posts: 545member
    "He characterized that inquiry as Epic Games wanting to come to an agreement with Apple, not a request for special treatment."
    Hahahahahahahah... 5 hours later...hahahaha
    edited May 3 spock1234aderutterDogpersonqwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 72
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,562member
    Going into a trial and proclaiming your software and associated products are a "phenomenon that transcends gaming" has nothing at all to do with this trial. The judge should have slapped him up side the head for attempting to push his gaming software above everything else as if it actually helps society. It's a stupid game! The judge should end this court case and make sure Epic's lawyers are disbarred. Total waste of taxpayer money.
    StrangeDaysbakerzdosenspock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 72
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    Judge should ask how much profit Epic makes from imaginary currency, dance animations  and digital outfits that sit behind a paywall. 
    Trey_Lanceradarthekatkkqd1337MacProwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 72
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,288member
    omasou said:
    If these quotes are even remotely correct. How in the world is this guy a CEO of any company?

    So consoles hardware is sold at a loss therefore they deserve a 30% commission rate but Apple makes a profit selling hardware so they do not? Really? Do you seriously think someone who has gone to college, law school and had the experience to become a judge is stupid enough to buy that line of reasoning? Please!
    Here's a more expanded version of what Sweeney actually said in court, about consoles selling at a loss. 

    >During his testimony, Sweeney said Epic does pay commissions to other platform owners such as Sony Group Corp's PlayStation and Microsoft Corp's Xbox but explained that those hardware makers use fees from developers to subsidize the further development of their hardware.

    Judge Gonzalez Rogers also asked her first direct questions of the trial during Sweeney's testimony, inquiring whether Apple's original iPhones from 2007 and 2008 were sophisticated enough to run Epic's video games. Sweeney said they were not.

    “So Apple did have to do something to the iPhone itself in order for it to be sophisticated enough to play your software? How is that any different than consoles?” she asked.

    Sweeney responded that the hardware development was similar, but the two devices had different business models.<


    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/epic-games-ceo-cites-apples-230408352.html


    Just because games console makers adapted the "give away the razor and sell the blades" business model, doesn't mean that they are losing money on the sale of game consoles. It has been proven many times over, that this is a very profitable business model. I'm willing to bet that a game console in it's lifetime, generate much, much more profit for the makers (from the sales of games), than an iPhone in its lifetime, generate for Apple, from the sale of apps. 
    edited May 3 roundaboutnowspock1234fotoformatapplguydope_ahminetenthousandthingsaderutterunsui_grepronnomasou
  • Reply 13 of 72
    Trey_LanceTrey_Lance Posts: 98member
    Sweeney should be grilled on his relationship with his  Chinese government handlers who own him. No rumors here, Epic is owned by Chinese state owned Tencent Media
    Beatsqwerty52hatchettjackwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 72
    Trey_LanceTrey_Lance Posts: 98member
    This trial is so ridiculous and should have been thrown out 
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 72
    Trey_LanceTrey_Lance Posts: 98member
    Again, what Epic is claiming is insulting to anyone with normal intelligence!

    if I go into Walmart and setup on Isle 5 and say I am going to be selling my stuff here and I will just give Walmart 5 bucks and they will like it or I will
    sue Walmart?

    I mean honestly, is Epic kidding? If they win, anyone can go into Costco and  sell stuff and nameTheir  price?

    not only that , I can go into my local Taco shop and tell them I will ask be selling some drinks to their customers inside their restaurant and they need to be quiet!
    Beatsspock1234qwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 72
    skippingrockskippingrock Posts: 124member
    The iPhone is not just used as a game machine. If it did, probably would be sold at a loss. The thing is that it does other things like um, make phone calls… and so much more. That profit is used to further development of the devices that all of these companies use. 
    Also not to forget that before the ADC fees were so much more but not scalable to those getting into the market. You sell more and make more you should have to pay more for the systems that it runs on. The M1 and AX chips didn’t come out of thin air. The profits of the iPhone alone wouldn’t have paid for it. 
    I chose this platform because I can have a sense of trust that the software on my device is not going to access anything I don’t let it. 
    Beatsspock1234dope_ahmineget seriouswatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 72
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,838member
    3 more weeks of this sh!t?
    Beatspscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 72
    I should say I didn’t expect those “Easter eggs” so soon into the trial. Day one a Epic’s CEO have already managed to corner himself with a couple of questions that he SHOULD have been prepared for.

    Wait and see Tim Cock take the bench. You are playing the big leagues kids… prepare for shock and awe!
    Beatsspock1234h2pwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 72
    eimoaotleimoaotl Posts: 8member
    There is a lot of vitriol on here against Epic.  I personally think that iOS has become like Windows and Mac, where it is a general operating system and that Apple should no longer be allowed to determine what I can and cannot do with the operating system.  My phone and my iPad are not like my gaming console - I use my iOS devices for basically everything, I use my xbox just for gaming and streaming shows.  I don’t think iOS and gaming consoles are equivalent.  But I do think iOS and windows are equivalent as they are both operating systems that enable me to do “limitless” things depending on software and how much limitation Microsoft and Apple actually put on them.  Same goes for the Mac my wife uses. Can you imagine how angry people would be if Windows mandated that everything now had to go through the Windows store and through their payment system?
  • Reply 20 of 72
    greginpraguegreginprague Posts: 452member
    eimoaotl said:
    There is a lot of vitriol on here against Epic.  I personally think that iOS has become like Windows and Mac, where it is a general operating system and that Apple should no longer be allowed to determine what I can and cannot do with the operating system.  My phone and my iPad are not like my gaming console - I use my iOS devices for basically everything, I use my xbox just for gaming and streaming shows.  I don’t think iOS and gaming consoles are equivalent.  But I do think iOS and windows are equivalent as they are both operating systems that enable me to do “limitless” things depending on software and how much limitation Microsoft and Apple actually put on them.  Same goes for the Mac my wife uses. Can you imagine how angry people would be if Windows mandated that everything now had to go through the Windows store and through their payment system?
    Windows has a dominant share of the computer operating system market.  iOS does not have a dominant share of the mobile operating system market in any country or geographical area.  You can choose to go somewhere else for your mobile platform if you are unhappy with the App Store.
    focherTrey_Lancespock1234MisterKitfotoformatapplguyget seriousMacPropscooter63qwerty52
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