Epic Games witnesses criticize App Store anti-steering provisions

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,328member
    omasou said:
    Why is this a problem? I purchase my Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max subscriptions outside iOS and setup my payments on each platform. Apple get 0% of these subscriptions.

    In fact, I have to configure most of my Netflix account settings on the web site b/c they are not available through the app.

    Just buy the VBuck via Epic's site. Sounds like their lawyers are asking for a solution where a problem doesn't exist. Oh wait, if I'm too stupid to know that I can buy VBuck directly from Epic. OK, got me there.
    There are problems with this, but it's not up to Apple to come up with the solutions for Epic, free of charge.

    One problem is that many in-app purchases when playing games like Fortnight, are impulse buying. A player sees a cool virtual outfit or pick axe handle and must have it before they start the next game. If they are out of V-Bucks, they can just stay on the app and buy more V-Bucks and then buy the cool outfit or pick axe using their iTunes account. And they're back to playing, in no time. But because Apple do not allow a direct link inside the app, they have to log out of their account on the app, open a browser, log in to their account, buy the V-Bucks, pay for the transaction, log out, log back into their account on the app and make the in-app purchase, then that impulse to spend $10 in real money, might go away. 

    The other problem is the convenience of iOS players using iTunes to pay for purchases. Epic can not come close to that unless they are allowed to set up their own payment system, inside their app. Which they are not allowed.

    And finally, Epic can not offer any incentive for Fortnight players to buy V-Bucks using a browser. This is true for all platforms. No way will Microsoft or Sony allow players to buy V-Bucks at a discount, by buying them using a browser, that can be spent in game play, on their platform. Remember, game consoles also have a browser and collect a commission for in-app purchases. Without an incentive to buy V-Bucks using a browser, why would Fortnight players go through the extra steps needed to buy their V-Bucks, instead of with an in-app purchase?   

    Even Tim (what an idiot) Sweeney admitted to the Judge that the main reason why it was important for Epic to have their own payment system inside their app, was to make it as convenient as possible for Fortnight players to make in-app purchases, which leads to more impulse buying. 

    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."<

    edited May 12 Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 34

    who benefits the most if Apple goes down besides Epic?



    CHINA
    Enough with your juvenile anti-China bigotry, we get it, propaganda works on you.
    muthuk_vanalingampscooter63Beatsroundaboutnowtenthousandthingsthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 34
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,901member
    Beats said:
    ALL companies, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Adobe and even copycats like Sony and Microsoft need to speak up against Epic. This is dangerous for their businesses.

    If an idiotic judge(knock on wood) mandates that companies need to advertise 3rd party alternatives this could cost companies their livelihood.
    Another reading could be that consumers in general may benefit from potentially increased competition. 
    canukstorm
  • Reply 24 of 34
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,178member
    davidw said:
    omasou said:
    Why is this a problem? I purchase my Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max subscriptions outside iOS and setup my payments on each platform. Apple get 0% of these subscriptions.

    In fact, I have to configure most of my Netflix account settings on the web site b/c they are not available through the app.

    Just buy the VBuck via Epic's site. Sounds like their lawyers are asking for a solution where a problem doesn't exist. Oh wait, if I'm too stupid to know that I can buy VBuck directly from Epic. OK, got me there.
    There are problems with this, but it's not up to Apple to come up with the solutions for Epic, free of charge.

    One problem is that many in-app purchases when playing games like Fortnight, are impulse buying. A player sees a cool virtual outfit or pick axe handle and must have it before they start the next game. If they are out of V-Bucks, they can just stay on the app and buy more V-Bucks and then buy the cool outfit or pick axe using their iTunes account. And they're back to playing, in no time. But because Apple do not allow a direct link inside the app, they have to log out of their account on the app, open a browser, log in to their account, buy the V-Bucks, pay for the transaction, log out, log back into their account on the app and make the in-app purchase, then that impulse to spend $10 in real money, might go away. 

    The other problem is the convenience of iOS players using iTunes to pay for purchases. Epic can not come close to that unless they are allowed to set up their own payment system, inside their app. Which they are not allowed.

    And finally, Epic can not offer any incentive for Fortnight players to buy V-Bucks using a browser. This is true for all platforms. No way will Microsoft or Sony allow players to buy V-Bucks at a discount, by buying them using a browser, that can be spent in game play, on their platform. Remember, game consoles also have a browser and collect a commission for in-app purchases. Without an incentive to buy V-Bucks using a browser, why would Fortnight players go through the extra steps needed to buy their V-Bucks, instead of with an in-app purchase?   

    Even Tim (what an idiot) Sweeney admitted to the Judge that the main reason why it was important for Epic to have their own payment system inside their app, was to make it as convenient as possible for Fortnight players to make in-app purchases, which leads to more impulse buying. 

    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."<

    Impulse buys are almost by definition not an area where there is any expectation of presenting consumers with an array of reasoned choices to consider. The candy rack by the cash register at your grocery store does not include notices about how you could pay less to order your gum online instead. In fact, there's not even a mention that that individual pack of gum you're picking up is several times more expensive than the same gum available in a multipack located 30 feet away in the candy aisle. 

    It's not an impulse buy if you cause the consumer to stop, consider their options and act on those considerations. In fact, the impulse purchase is staged specifically to reduce the consideration of not making a purchase at all. A reminder at the checkout counter that gum is cheaper online or back in the candy aisle is also likely to remind the consumer that maybe they don't need any gum at all, actually. Likewise, an in-app reminder that you can purchase your game bucks in a browser or through some other device is just as likely to remind you that you could save your money, not buy any game bucks and maybe spend time with family or read a book or something.

    Epic really doesn't want a way to just remind customers where else they can buy game bucks. They want an in-app bypass to carry out the impulse purchase without giving Apple their cut for providing a convenient platform to run their game. An analog would be Wrigley gum expecting grocery retailers to stock packs of Spearmint by the register, but to allow consumers to use a phone app to scan the barcode, pay Wrigley directly and walk away with the pack of gum. There's no retailer that would agree to those terms. 
    muthuk_vanalingamradarthekatwilliamlondonBeatsroundaboutnowspock1234bestkeptsecreturaharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 34
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,394moderator
    AppleZulu said:
    davidw said:
    omasou said:
    Why is this a problem? I purchase my Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max subscriptions outside iOS and setup my payments on each platform. Apple get 0% of these subscriptions.

    In fact, I have to configure most of my Netflix account settings on the web site b/c they are not available through the app.

    Just buy the VBuck via Epic's site. Sounds like their lawyers are asking for a solution where a problem doesn't exist. Oh wait, if I'm too stupid to know that I can buy VBuck directly from Epic. OK, got me there.
    There are problems with this, but it's not up to Apple to come up with the solutions for Epic, free of charge.

    One problem is that many in-app purchases when playing games like Fortnight, are impulse buying. A player sees a cool virtual outfit or pick axe handle and must have it before they start the next game. If they are out of V-Bucks, they can just stay on the app and buy more V-Bucks and then buy the cool outfit or pick axe using their iTunes account. And they're back to playing, in no time. But because Apple do not allow a direct link inside the app, they have to log out of their account on the app, open a browser, log in to their account, buy the V-Bucks, pay for the transaction, log out, log back into their account on the app and make the in-app purchase, then that impulse to spend $10 in real money, might go away. 

    The other problem is the convenience of iOS players using iTunes to pay for purchases. Epic can not come close to that unless they are allowed to set up their own payment system, inside their app. Which they are not allowed.

    And finally, Epic can not offer any incentive for Fortnight players to buy V-Bucks using a browser. This is true for all platforms. No way will Microsoft or Sony allow players to buy V-Bucks at a discount, by buying them using a browser, that can be spent in game play, on their platform. Remember, game consoles also have a browser and collect a commission for in-app purchases. Without an incentive to buy V-Bucks using a browser, why would Fortnight players go through the extra steps needed to buy their V-Bucks, instead of with an in-app purchase?   

    Even Tim (what an idiot) Sweeney admitted to the Judge that the main reason why it was important for Epic to have their own payment system inside their app, was to make it as convenient as possible for Fortnight players to make in-app purchases, which leads to more impulse buying. 

    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."<

    Impulse buys are almost by definition not an area where there is any expectation of presenting consumers with an array of reasoned choices to consider. The candy rack by the cash register at your grocery store does not include notices about how you could pay less to order your gum online instead. In fact, there's not even a mention that that individual pack of gum you're picking up is several times more expensive than the same gum available in a multipack located 30 feet away in the candy aisle. 

    It's not an impulse buy if you cause the consumer to stop, consider their options and act on those considerations. In fact, the impulse purchase is staged specifically to reduce the consideration of not making a purchase at all. A reminder at the checkout counter that gum is cheaper online or back in the candy aisle is also likely to remind the consumer that maybe they don't need any gum at all, actually. Likewise, an in-app reminder that you can purchase your game bucks in a browser or through some other device is just as likely to remind you that you could save your money, not buy any game bucks and maybe spend time with family or read a book or something.

    Epic really doesn't want a way to just remind customers where else they can buy game bucks. They want an in-app bypass to carry out the impulse purchase without giving Apple their cut for providing a convenient platform to run their game. An analog would be Wrigley gum expecting grocery retailers to stock packs of Spearmint by the register, but to allow consumers to use a phone app to scan the barcode, pay Wrigley directly and walk away with the pack of gum. There's no retailer that would agree to those terms. 
    Perfectly stated and reasoned.  Let’s hope the judge sees it the same way.  
    edited May 12 williamlondonomasouwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 34
    omasouomasou Posts: 208member
    I think Apple shouldn't be able to block developers from telling users within the app what the rules are, but I agree that there are alternative sources of that information and it's a fine line between explaining the rules and encouraging people to bypass them. Overall it seems like Apple has a winning position in this suit.
    When you shop at Walmart for an oven, do they have a sign telling you the same over is $10 cheaper at Costco? Have people lost their minds and common sense?
    All retailers should be required to provide a list of every other retailer that sells gift cards on top of their gift card display /s where does the madness end?
    radarthekat
  • Reply 27 of 34
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,526member
    avon b7 said:
    Beats said:
    ALL companies, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Adobe and even copycats like Sony and Microsoft need to speak up against Epic. This is dangerous for their businesses.

    If an idiotic judge(knock on wood) mandates that companies need to advertise 3rd party alternatives this could cost companies their livelihood.
    Another reading could be that consumers in general may benefit from potentially increased competition. 

    Consumers never benefit from competition. This is an old fallacy like “competition drives innovation”. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 28 of 34
    avon b7 said:
    Beats said:
    ALL companies, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Adobe and even copycats like Sony and Microsoft need to speak up against Epic. This is dangerous for their businesses.

    If an idiotic judge(knock on wood) mandates that companies need to advertise 3rd party alternatives this could cost companies their livelihood.
    Another reading could be that consumers in general may benefit from potentially increased competition. 
    Anyone who believe that is welcome to check AppleInsider archives about the iBookStore intervention. That was about 10 years ago. The DoJ intervened to curb Apple "anti-competitive" arrangements with publishers. That only managed to consolidate Amazon monopoly on ebooks.

    This is not about consumers, much less competition. If you believe that, may I be so bold as to ask your age? Given in days.
    d.j. adequatespock1234radarthekaturaharawilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 34
    iSRSiSRS Posts: 37member
    Apologies for my ignorance. But this quote, “He added that the solution wouldn't be possible for apps that don't have a website or web version, or for consumers without easy access to a computer.”

    1. if an app doesn’t haves website or web version, how would they offer the ability to purchase said in game currency on a non existing website?
    2. He does realize that both the iPhone and iPad have a web browser available, right? In fact, they have many. So this is also not an issue. 
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 34
    iSRS said:
    Apologies for my ignorance. But this quote, “He added that the solution wouldn't be possible for apps that don't have a website or web version, or for consumers without easy access to a computer.”

    1. if an app doesn’t haves website or web version, how would they offer the ability to purchase said in game currency on a non existing website?
    2. He does realize that both the iPhone and iPad have a web browser available, right? In fact, they have many. So this is also not an issue. 
    Cough Contradiction Cough
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 34
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 824member
    Anti-steering is standard throughout the e-commerce industry. Amazon, EBay, and Etsy don't allow sellers to communicate alternate places of purchase on their sites and neither do gaming stores like Steam on PC or the Playstation Store on Sony consoles. You basically have to pretend that the average iPhone customer is unaware of what the internet is or that they can access it on their phones in order to think companies don't have alternate ways of communicating different places of purchase.
    Standard in every industry and daily life.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 34
    verne araseverne arase Posts: 273member
    Well, App Steering inside the app is like asking Apple to host at its own expense an advertisement about how to circumvent the profit that Apple makes by distributing the app, while the publisher of the app gets its development tools, hosting, vetting, and and developer technical support for free.

    Hardly seems fair to me.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 34
    omasouomasou Posts: 208member
    AppleZulu said:
    davidw said:
    omasou said:
    Why is this a problem? I purchase my Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max subscriptions outside iOS and setup my payments on each platform. Apple get 0% of these subscriptions.

    In fact, I have to configure most of my Netflix account settings on the web site b/c they are not available through the app.

    Just buy the VBuck via Epic's site. Sounds like their lawyers are asking for a solution where a problem doesn't exist. Oh wait, if I'm too stupid to know that I can buy VBuck directly from Epic. OK, got me there.
    There are problems with this, but it's not up to Apple to come up with the solutions for Epic, free of charge.

    One problem is that many in-app purchases when playing games like Fortnight, are impulse buying. A player sees a cool virtual outfit or pick axe handle and must have it before they start the next game. If they are out of V-Bucks, they can just stay on the app and buy more V-Bucks and then buy the cool outfit or pick axe using their iTunes account. And they're back to playing, in no time. But because Apple do not allow a direct link inside the app, they have to log out of their account on the app, open a browser, log in to their account, buy the V-Bucks, pay for the transaction, log out, log back into their account on the app and make the in-app purchase, then that impulse to spend $10 in real money, might go away. 

    The other problem is the convenience of iOS players using iTunes to pay for purchases. Epic can not come close to that unless they are allowed to set up their own payment system, inside their app. Which they are not allowed.

    And finally, Epic can not offer any incentive for Fortnight players to buy V-Bucks using a browser. This is true for all platforms. No way will Microsoft or Sony allow players to buy V-Bucks at a discount, by buying them using a browser, that can be spent in game play, on their platform. Remember, game consoles also have a browser and collect a commission for in-app purchases. Without an incentive to buy V-Bucks using a browser, why would Fortnight players go through the extra steps needed to buy their V-Bucks, instead of with an in-app purchase?   

    Even Tim (what an idiot) Sweeney admitted to the Judge that the main reason why it was important for Epic to have their own payment system inside their app, was to make it as convenient as possible for Fortnight players to make in-app purchases, which leads to more impulse buying. 

    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."<

    Impulse buys are almost by definition not an area where there is any expectation of presenting consumers with an array of reasoned choices to consider. The candy rack by the cash register at your grocery store does not include notices about how you could pay less to order your gum online instead. In fact, there's not even a mention that that individual pack of gum you're picking up is several times more expensive than the same gum available in a multipack located 30 feet away in the candy aisle. 

    It's not an impulse buy if you cause the consumer to stop, consider their options and act on those considerations. In fact, the impulse purchase is staged specifically to reduce the consideration of not making a purchase at all. A reminder at the checkout counter that gum is cheaper online or back in the candy aisle is also likely to remind the consumer that maybe they don't need any gum at all, actually. Likewise, an in-app reminder that you can purchase your game bucks in a browser or through some other device is just as likely to remind you that you could save your money, not buy any game bucks and maybe spend time with family or read a book or something.

    Epic really doesn't want a way to just remind customers where else they can buy game bucks. They want an in-app bypass to carry out the impulse purchase without giving Apple their cut for providing a convenient platform to run their game. An analog would be Wrigley gum expecting grocery retailers to stock packs of Spearmint by the register, but to allow consumers to use a phone app to scan the barcode, pay Wrigley directly and walk away with the pack of gum. There's no retailer that would agree to those terms. 
    Perfectly stated and reasoned.  Let’s hope the judge sees it the same way.  
    Actually, the manufacture pays a premium for visibility at eye level, end caps and checkout.
    edited May 14
  • Reply 34 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,717member
    iSRS said:
    Apologies for my ignorance. But this quote, “He added that the solution wouldn't be possible for apps that don't have a website or web version, or for consumers without easy access to a computer.”

    1. if an app doesn’t haves website or web version, how would they offer the ability to purchase said in game currency on a non existing website?
    That's his point, if Apple allowed an app to direct users to a website to make a purchase then that's something but doesn't work for apps that don't operate a website.  Epic's contention is that the app itself should be able to offer alternative methods of payment besides Apples, methods that don't don't require a website.
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