Epic's Tim Sweeney said he would have taken special deal with Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 4
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that he would have taken a special deal with reduced App Store commissions and fees if Apple had offered one to him.

Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games


Sweeney was again on the stand Tuesday in the Epic Games v. Apple case. The Epic CEO's testimony started on Monday, during which he was grilled on platform agreements and the scope of "Fortnite."

On Tuesday, Epic's lawyer in the case asked Sweeney if he would have accepted a special deal with reduced app and in-app purchase commissions from Apple.

"If Apple told you the deal would only be with you and no other developers," the lawyer asked. "Would you have accepted that deal?"

"Yes, I would have," Sweeney replied.

That question references Sweeney's prior attempts to negotiate special treatment for "Fortnite" from Apple. The question posed by Epic's lawyer Tuesday seems to be an attempt to downplay the request by making it appear that Apple was unwilling to offer such a deal or negotiate special treatment.

During other portions of Sweeney's cross-examination, the Epic executive said he uses an iPhone for the privacy and security benefits, and also admitted that 30% is an industry standard commission across other app stores. Still, that 30% could hinder the future of "Fortnite."

"The long-term evolution of Fortnite will be opening up Fortnite as a platform for creators to distribute their work to users and creators will make the majority of profits," Sweeney said. "With Apple taking 30% off of the top, it makes it very hard for Epic and creators to exist in this future world."

Another tidbit that surfaced during the trial is the fact that Sweeney had contacted Apple CEO Tim Cook directly in 2015 to call for a more open App Store.

According to documents made public as part of the case and seen by The Verge, Sweeney wrote that "The App Store has done much good for the industry, but it doesn't seem tenable for Apple to be the sole arbiter of expression and commerce over an app platform approaching a billion users."

The Epic CEO then asked Apple to "separate iOS App Store curation from compliance review and app distribution."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 699member
    That seems like an odd question for his company's lawyer to ask.

    Would you accept more money? Yup!
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 2 of 34
    mknelson said:
    That seems like an odd question for his company's lawyer to ask.

    Would you accept more money? Yup!
    Not really. The fact that he sought a special deal for Epic is documented and undercuts the argument that Epic is making that this lawsuit is about the good of all developers and not just Epic. From a strategic point of view when you no something that doesn't help your argument is going to come up it makes more sense to bring up it up first and try to frame it in the best possible light rather than have the other side's legal team frame whatever it is. It's a common courtroom strategy. 
    anantksundarambloggerblogBeatsam8449Rayz2016williamlondondewmecrossladdope_ahmineheadfull0wine
  • Reply 3 of 34
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,172member
    At the end of the day, for all the pieties... follow the money.
    Beatsspock1234zeus423
  • Reply 4 of 34
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,134member
    How does this help their case, it demonstrates:
    1. Epic is not bona fide in their claim that they are advocating for small or voiceless developers.
    2. Epic desires unequal treatment in the app store, special favours for them and them alone.
    3. Epic's actions are entirely profit driven.
    4. Epic's PR campaign against Apple is wilful slander.
    qwerty52pulseimagesroundaboutnowFizzyPandaBeatsspock1234ravnorodomdewmerezwitsdope_ahmine
  • Reply 5 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,615member
    Well there goes the principle argument.
    roundaboutnowBeatscrossladrezwitsmuthuk_vanalingamdarkvaderzeus423
  • Reply 6 of 34
    602warren602warren Posts: 22member
    How does this help their case, it demonstrates:
    1. Epic is not bona fide in their claim that they are advocating for small or voiceless developers.
    2. Epic desires unequal treatment in the app store, special favours for them and them alone.
    3. Epic's actions are entirely profit driven.
    4. Epic's PR campaign against Apple is wilful slander.
    Exactly. You don't get to ask for special treatment then complain the playing field isn't level.
    Beatsspock1234ravnorodomdewmej2fusionzeus423CluntBaby92
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Apple may win this round, but it feels like Apple should try to get in front of antitrust issues before it is too late.

    The bi-partisan coalition of senators on the antitrust committee think the approximately 80% profit margins on AppStore fees is evidence of rent seeking and want to regulate the store. With the Biden administration also onboard, it feels like it is just a matter of time. The fact that Apple provides services seems to be a major reason regulators do not want to treat them like a game store.

    Other parties are preparing their own antitrust trials in both the US and the EU that I think may have stronger cases. I’m not pro-regulation, so I would really like to see Apple get in front of this on their own terms. If they fail to, I hope the least blunt instrument as possible is used to regulate the store.
    edited May 4 roundaboutnowBeatsanantksundaramd_2
  • Reply 8 of 34
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,119member
    Apple may win this round, but it feels like Apple should try to get in front of antitrust issues before it is too late.

    The bi-partisan coalition of senators on the antitrust committee think the approximately 80% profit margins on AppStore fees is evidence of rent seeking and want to regulate the store. With the Biden administration also onboard, it feels like it is just a matter of time. The fact that Apple provides services seems to be a major reason regulators do not want to treat them like a game store.

    Other parties are preparing their own antitrust trials in both the US and the EU that I think may have stronger cases. I’m not pro-regulation, so I would really like to see Apple get in front of this on their own terms. If they fail to, I hope the least blunt instrument as possible is used to regulate the store.
    The 80% profit is a false focus point. It is taken out of context and does not include, platform development, API’s, support, or other platform cost as Apple’s opening statement pointed out. Their documents show a 7-8% effective commission rate after these factors. Keep in mind 3-4% is credit card processing alone. 
    Apple’s terms are simple. They are a for profit business and their investments help them maintain at least 36% gross profit margins or they stop investing in it. 

    Should the App Store become unprofitable, it would get spun off and get the attention of their database software subsidiary FileMaker . None. Their private API investments would be isolated to 1st party development as it had been when the iphone was released. Steve Jobs never wanted to open it up in the first place. Looks like he was right. 
    edited May 4 BeatsanantksundaramDogpersonsteven n.am8449danoxRayz2016applguydewme
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Day 2 of the proceedings, and again Epic's CEO have misplaced his foot inside his mouth...

    He have just thrown away all sympathy he may have mustered from other disgruntled developers. "Yeah, we are big and hoped to manage a compromise—like Amazon did! You couldn't even get to ask for that? Sucks to be you!!!"

    And that's really too bad. Even though Fortnite never caught my attention, even being free to play, I remember buying all three Infinity Blade games on day one. Those were pretty enjoyable games! I even bought the books expanding the lore and story. I really thought that Epic had messed up when they let that property die... but they upped their game in fumbling the ball.
    BeatsMisterKit
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Is this idiot Sweeney serious?

    If Anyone else supports epic at this point I’m sorry ,You are not very bright 
    edited May 4 spock1234williamlondonzeus423CluntBaby92
  • Reply 11 of 34
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,177member
    Day 2 of the proceedings, and again Epic's CEO have misplaced his foot inside his mouth...
    ...........
    He did better than that, today he placed both foot in this mouth.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/judge-presses-epic-ceo-during-221006843.html

    >Gonzalez Rogers asked Sweeney whether the company's desire to be free of Apple's in-app purchase requirements meant that it wanted the "Fortnite" user base, which includes many younger users, to have access to "what I would call, as a parent, an impulse purchase."


    "What you are really asking for is the ability to have impulse purchases," she said to Sweeney through layers of plexiglass separating the witness booth from the bench.


    "Yes," Sweeny replied, "customer convenience is a huge factor in this."<


    If customer convenience is a huge factor in this, then there is nothing more convenient for iOS customers, than to use iTunes to pay for their app purchases. Every iOS user has an iTunes account, that is safe and can be funded by using gift cards (which can be purchased at a discount), CC, PayPal, Debit Card and ApplePay. Plus a parent can set up and fund an iTunes account for their kids, to limit their spending. (I'm sure Sweeney is against this and sees it as another way that Apple is stealing money from Epic.) 


    I have no doubt that Sweeney can do even better (in making a fool of himself) in the coming days of the trial. 



    edited May 4 spock1234Gabyd_2tenthousandthingsCluntBaby92
  • Reply 12 of 34
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,057member
    Day 2 of the proceedings, and again Epic's CEO have misplaced his foot inside his mouth...

    He have just thrown away all sympathy he may have mustered from other disgruntled developers. "Yeah, we are big and hoped to manage a compromise—like Amazon did! You couldn't even get to ask for that? Sucks to be you!!!"

    And that's really too bad. Even though Fortnite never caught my attention, even being free to play, I remember buying all three Infinity Blade games on day one. Those were pretty enjoyable games! I even bought the books expanding the lore and story. I really thought that Epic had messed up when they let that property die... but they upped their game in fumbling the ball.

    Remember Apple would promote Epic and have them on stage during iPhone keynotes?
    remember how much support Apple gave them to have the must-have game on the App Store?

    Epic bit the Apple that fed them and I have ZERO remorse for that company. I think this gives Apple the perfect opportunity to compete with them. Make great first party games and a game engine to take out Unreal Engine.

    spock1234Trey_LanceCluntBaby92
  • Reply 13 of 34
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,057member
    What’s with these companies thinking they can boss Apple around? Also he wants to punish Apple for being successful “approaching a billion users”.

    How does this help their case, it demonstrates:
    1. Epic is not bona fide in their claim that they are advocating for small or voiceless developers.
    2. Epic desires unequal treatment in the app store, special favours for them and them alone.
    3. Epic's actions are entirely profit driven.
    4. Epic's PR campaign against Apple is wilful slander.

    I was gonna make these exact points. What’s the point of this scumbag admitting his greed?
    spock1234CluntBaby92
  • Reply 14 of 34
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 764member
    Epic needs to fire this wacko 
    spock1234BeatsCluntBaby92
  • Reply 15 of 34
    spock1234spock1234 Posts: 94member
    Is this guy for real? Every word out his mouth destroys the foundation of Epic’s case. Now he is drawing a Anti-Trust bulls-eye on the back of the console makers. Is he nuts?! I bet Sony and Microsoft have already put out a hit on this guy. 

    This trial really does seem like an elaborate prank to me. I mean, nobody can be this stupid in real life. Perhaps he want to be this year’s Martin Shkreli (the price-gouging Pharma executive). Like Shkreli, this idiot has a very punchable face. 
    edited May 4 roundaboutnowd_2Trey_LancedewmeCluntBaby92
  • Reply 16 of 34
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,329moderator
    Epic doesn’t need a lawsuit to eliminate Apple’s commissions.  They simply need to setup payment outside the Apple ecosystem.  Yes, that would be tedious for both the company and its customers.  But, go to the Epic website, setup your payment option, and then go buy some Vbucks that will show up back in your iOS instance of the game.  And do this without linking out of the iOS game to get users there. 

    But hey, if Apple isn’t providing value then this should be NO PROBLEM. 
    stourqueTrey_LancetmayMisterKit
  • Reply 17 of 34
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,213member
    Apple may win this round, but it feels like Apple should try to get in front of antitrust issues before it is too late.

    The bi-partisan coalition of senators on the antitrust committee think the approximately 80% profit margins on AppStore fees is evidence of rent seeking and want to regulate the store. With the Biden administration also onboard, it feels like it is just a matter of time. The fact that Apple provides services seems to be a major reason regulators do not want to treat them like a game store.

    Other parties are preparing their own antitrust trials in both the US and the EU that I think may have stronger cases. I’m not pro-regulation, so I would really like to see Apple get in front of this on their own terms. If they fail to, I hope the least blunt instrument as possible is used to regulate the store.
    The problem is the 80% profit margin is a blatant lie and a made up number. Truth never did stop a politician though.
    spock1234williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 34
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 764member
    Epic doesn’t need a lawsuit to eliminate Apple’s commissions.  They simply need to setup payment outside the Apple ecosystem.  Yes, that would be tedious for both the company and its customers.  But, go to the Epic website, setup your payment option, and then go buy some Vbucks that will show up back in your iOS instance of the game.  And do this without linking out of the iOS game to get users there. 

    But hey, if Apple isn’t providing value then this should be NO PROBLEM. 
    Poor Epic though. 

    I mean, mean ol’ Apple providing unheard of service, reliability, and trusting customer base. And they dare charge for it? The gall! 

    Apple really should just work their butts off, spend decades building industry leading value, trust, and capabilities, and then just let third parties run it all into the ground. 

    I mean that’s fair right? And that’s what all of us Apple customers want...

    /s

    Apple is a player in the smartphone, tablet, and personal computing spaces. 

    In each of those spaces save iPad, they are the best in class, but by no means the market share leader. 

    There is no monopoly case. Their is no antitrust case. There is simply the case of a greedy inept ceo trying to get out of paying what he agreed to owe. 

    Not only is it shameful that he tries to slip out before paying the tab, but then he calls the police to arrest them for daring to print out the invoice. 

    The sooner epic cans this guy, the quicker they regain consumer confidence. 


    spock1234radarthekatwilliamlondonCluntBaby92
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Trey_LanceTrey_Lance Posts: 61member
    Apple may win this round, but it feels like Apple should try to get in front of antitrust issues before it is too late.

    The bi-partisan coalition of senators on the antitrust committee think the approximately 80% profit margins on AppStore fees is evidence of rent seeking and want to regulate the store. With the Biden administration also onboard, it feels like it is just a matter of time. The fact that Apple provides services seems to be a major reason regulators do not want to treat them like a game store.

    Other parties are preparing their own antitrust trials in both the US and the EU that I think may have stronger cases. I’m not pro-regulation, so I would really like to see Apple get in front of this on their own terms. If they fail to, I hope the least blunt instrument as possible is used to regulate the store.
    Every communist and socialist  around world and in US is trying to get at Apples success. 
    williamlondonzeus423
  • Reply 20 of 34
    Trey_LanceTrey_Lance Posts: 61member
    spock1234 said:
    Is this guy for real? Every word out his mouth destroys the foundation of Epic’s case. Now he is drawing a Anti-Trust bulls-eye on the back of the console makers. Is he nuts?! I bet Sony and Microsoft have already put out a hit on this guy. 

    This trial really does seem like an elaborate prank to me. I mean, nobody can be this stupid in real life. Perhaps he want to be this year’s Martin Shkreli (the price-gouging Pharma executive). Like Shkreli, this idiot has a very punchable face. 
    Nobody  can be this stupid. But Epic and Tim Weenie  is mostly owned by China , and hurting Apple does help China phone companies like Huawei….

    so don’t rule it out…
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