Sony pumps $200M into Epic ahead of legal fight with Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 14
Epic Games on Tuesday announced the completion of a $1 billion funding round as it tangles with Apple over App Store rules and regulations.

Epic v Apple


As part of the disclosure, Epic notes that Sony increased its minority interest in the company with a $200 million infusion, reports ZDNet. The Japanese firm initially purchased stake in the game developer last year with a $250 million investment that was part of a larger $1.78 billion funding round.

Appaloosa Management, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management, and funds managed by BlackRock, KKR, and ParkWest were part of the most recent round of funding, the report said.

Epic is just weeks away from entering a U.S. trial with Apple over what it has framed as a gross abuse of market power. Apple's tight control over App Store fees, restrictions against third-party payments systems and app stores, and other rules hinder Epic's business, the developer claims.

For its part, Apple says the App Store's guidelines are designed to keep iOS -- and by extension, users -- secure and have fostered innovation in the sector.

Epic fomented the scrum last August when it quietly implemented an alternative in-app payment option for its massively popular game, "Fortnite." By sidestepping the App Store's commission mechanism, Epic openly flouted Apple's developer agreement. Apple pulled the app that same day and later deactivated Epic's developer account, triggering a prepared legal thrust and polished media blitz from Epic.

Epic v. Apple kicks off on May 3 in California district court.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Fortnite is free!
    Remind me not to buy a PS5
    rcfabeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Why would Sony do that – if Epic wins, the PlayStation Store is next.
    mattinozflyingdppulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 143member
    Hold on, doesn't Sony charge game developers a 30% cut?  In Epic's view, wouldn't that make Sony's investment blood money?

    Or is that hush, or protection money?
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    rcfarcfa Posts: 994member
    citpeks said:
    Hold on, doesn't Sony charge game developers a 30% cut?  In Epic's view, wouldn't that make Sony's investment blood money?

    Or is that hush, or protection money?
    I guess for Sony it’s insurance: if people buy through its store, it makes money directly, and through profit sharing in Epic through its investment.
    if users buy in the Epic store, Sony loses out on the direct sales, but Epics profits on the sale are higher, and Sony makes the money through profit sharing.
    This way Sony makes money either way.
    If Apple wins, they can enforce similar rules in their own store, if Apple loses, at least as far as Epic goes, they secured their profit by other means.
    d_2watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    d_2d_2 Posts: 97member
    cpsro said:
    Fortnite is free!
    Remind me not to buy a PS5
    ... or a PowerBook 100
  • Reply 6 of 10
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 733member
    I think people should think more about who will they make rich in future.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,653member
    I want to think that Sony is "investing" in that scum of a company to acquire it if/when Epic loses the case.  I do agree with @rcfa synopsis that Sony is getting into bed with Epic as it too has a 30% revenue cut as well.  

    Epic is such a skid-mark to the software community.
    watto_cobrabrometheus
  • Reply 8 of 10
    citpeks said:
    Hold on, doesn't Sony charge game developers a 30% cut?  In Epic's view, wouldn't that make Sony's investment blood money?

    Or is that hush, or protection money?
    Tim Sweeney defended the console's cut here: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-07-31-30-percent-store-tax-is-a-high-cost-says-sweeney-as-fortnite-skips-google-play

    His basic argument is that consoles spend some of that money on helping publishers to advertise games, and people mostly buy a console just to play games, and the consoles themselves are sold on razor-thin margins (initially) so by and large he's OK with it.



    I don't see how he squares this view with Apple's efforts in promoting selected developers via their special events, which included Epic in, IIRC, 2008. I guess he feels left out and both sides are asking "but what have you done for me lately?".


    Sony is using Epic as a proxy here, trying to take Apple down a peg while standing behind a transparent defense. Don't forget that Sony is a publisher too.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 143member
    citpeks said:
    Hold on, doesn't Sony charge game developers a 30% cut?  In Epic's view, wouldn't that make Sony's investment blood money?

    Or is that hush, or protection money?
    Tim Sweeney defended the console's cut here: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-07-31-30-percent-store-tax-is-a-high-cost-says-sweeney-as-fortnite-skips-google-play

    His basic argument is that consoles spend some of that money on helping publishers to advertise games, and people mostly buy a console just to play games, and the consoles themselves are sold on razor-thin margins (initially) so by and large he's OK with it.



    I don't see how he squares this view with Apple's efforts in promoting selected developers via their special events, which included Epic in, IIRC, 2008. I guess he feels left out and both sides are asking "but what have you done for me lately?".


    Sony is using Epic as a proxy here, trying to take Apple down a peg while standing behind a transparent defense. Don't forget that Sony is a publisher too.
    So Apple doesn't provide developers anything in return, and is a bad guy its margins are higher?

    He's as full of it as Zuckerberg with his "think of the small businesses" propaganda, to distract from their self-serving agendas.
    edited April 15
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Sony plans bigger push to bring PlayStation franchises to iPhone

    This story states that Sony is planning to bring more of its games to iOS, so I don't think Sony is picking sides, per se. 


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