Apple, Epic Games experts debate whether iOS gamers switch to other platforms

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple and Epic expert witnesses are butting heads on whether iOS users are locked into the platform amid other choices on the market, such as game consoles or the web.

Credit: Epic Games
Credit: Epic Games


Michael Cragg, chairman of economic consulting company Brattle Group, testified Thursday on behalf of the "Fortnite" maker in the ongoing Epic Games v. Apple trial. One of his main arguments was that other versions of "Fortnite" are not a substitute for iOS play.

That argument goes against testimony from Apple's witnesses, which contended that "Fortnite" players aren't locked into Apple's ecosystem and have choices for how they play the game and others like it.

Mobile players on iOS, for example, spent an average of 47 minutes per week playing "Fortnite." Those on consoles, on the other hand, spent six or seven hours on average.

"The hypothesis of the Apple experts is that multi-platform play is a way of creating a disciplining force for the Apple App Store," Cragg says, adding that "from a practical perspective, that's not happening in the marketplace."

At another point, Cragg talked about the differences between mobile and console gaming. Specifically, he argued that they are not interchangeable because mobile games are more of a "fleeting experience." As a contrast, he likened console games to a Hollywood movie.

That goes against the testimony of Apple's expert witness on Thursday, University of Pennsylvania Wharton economist Loin Hitt. Hitt had claimed that Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the mobile gaming market because developers have the choice to make games for other platforms.

At other points during Hitt's testimony, he analyzed some of the data related to "Fortnite" players on iOS. For example, 10.2% of all "Fortnite" players used iOS between March 2018 and July 2020. They accounted for about 13.2% of "Fortnite's" revenue, totaling about $745 million out of $5.63 billion.

Hitt also claimed that "Fortnite" retained as much as 88% of player spending after Apple kicked it off the App Store. He says that shows consumers are "willing to and able to" switch between platforms.

"Fortnite" purchasing behavior was also revealed during the trial. For example, one chart indicated that 5.6% of "Fortnite" players made purchases only on iOS, while 2.8% made purchases on iOS and other platforms. About 15.8% purchased only on non-iOS platforms, and 75.9% made no purchases at all.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 42member
    As if switching platform is easy or even possible, once you are part of the Apple world. One of the famous lines used on Windows folks is - Once you go mac, you don't go back
    williamlondonpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    d_2d_2 Posts: 97member
    lam92103 said:
    As if switching platform is easy or even possible, once you are part of the Apple world. One of the famous lines used on Windows folks is - Once you go mac, you don't go back
    They are talking about gaming platforms, not computer OS platforms.
    qwerty52williamlondonpscooter63stevenozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    What platform are you considered being on when you are streaming games, like playing Fortnite through nVidia GFN macOS client? Fortnite considers it a PC/Windows player.
    edited May 13 williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 19
    d_2d_2 Posts: 97member
     For example, 10.2% of all "Fortnite" players used iOS between March 2018 and July 2020. They accounted for about 13.2% of "Fortnite's" revenue, totaling about $745 million out of $5.63 billion.
    ***
    So, am I thinking about this correctly - Epic is suing Apple over a “measly” $92M per year ?

    $745M revenue over 29 months ~ $308M year
    $308M x 30% ~ $92M

    Apple obviously provides a number of services for the $92M ... store fronting, credit card processing and hosting the app for downloading. Thus, Epic would have to pay for those services elsewhere, and so they are really suing for ~ $50-70M / yr.... or roughly 1% of their overall revenue from FN.



    qwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 19
    iSRSiSRS Posts: 37member
    So I had an original PlayStation. Then a PS2. Then an original Xbox when that launched. Know what I've never bought since? A PlayStation. no PS3, PS4, PS5.

    I have bought an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

    So shouldn't Epic also be suing Microsoft? I can't sideload their games on my Xbox. I'm far more locked in to Xbox than Apple, even though I've been using and buying Apple products since 1983....
    qwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    iSRS said:
    So I had an original PlayStation. Then a PS2. Then an original Xbox when that launched. Know what I've never bought since? A PlayStation. no PS3, PS4, PS5.

    I have bought an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

    So shouldn't Epic also be suing Microsoft? I can't sideload their games on my Xbox. I'm far more locked in to Xbox than Apple, even though I've been using and buying Apple products since 1983....
    Yup, when you keep buying the same things because you like them, then you’re locked in. Funny, I never thought it would feel so nice to be “locked in”.
    thtFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    Epic and Tim Weenie are not only owned by Chinese communist but everything they are asking for is what you would find in a communist regime 

    “Share everything”, “Apple makes  Too much profit”,

    is nobody seeing this? 
    qwerty52lkruppwilliamlondonspliff monkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,210member
    Epic and Tim Weenie are not only owned by Chinese communist but everything they are asking for is what you would find in a communist regime 

    “Share everything”, “Apple makes  Too much profit”,

    is nobody seeing this? 
    Jfc give it a rest.  You've added nothing to the last 70 times you said the exact same thing.
    bageljoeyosmartormenajrmuthuk_vanalingampscooter63stevenozwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 9 of 19
    BombdoeBombdoe Posts: 53member
    So what has this really got to do with the basis of this court case, ie. Epic Games challenging...  "Apple's restrictions on apps from having other in-app purchasing methods outside of the one offered by the App Store." 

    How does the stuff being thrown up today directly relate to this?
    edited May 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    This part of Epic's case is just inane. Multiplatform development is a standard in the games industry and provides a way for companies to maximize revenue. Epic never viewed iOS users as their primary customers. They made an iOS port of Fortnite after previously releasing the game on the platforms that they considered to be the most important for revenue. iOS and Android versions were just icing on the financial cake and Epic knew that in advance. Essentially, they viewed iOS/Android support as an "extra" that players on other platforms could enjoy when they were away from their consoles or PCs. 
    thtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    Bombdoe said:
    So what has this really got to do with the basis of this court case, ie. Epic Games challenging...  "Apple's restrictions on apps from having other in-app purchasing methods outside of the one offered by the App Store." 

    How does the stuff being thrown up today directly relate to this?
    Good question. I guess it is relevant because Epic is arguing that Apple’s restrictions are monopolistic. So Apple is forced to respond to that. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    AppleInsider said: At another point, Cragg talked about the differences between mobile and console gaming. Specifically, he argued that they are not interchangeable because mobile games are more of a "fleeting experience." As a contrast, he likened console games to a Hollywood movie.
    Really flimsy argument. Fortnite itself doesn't qualify as a 'Hollywood movie' kind of experience, yet the vast majority of its revenue comes from consoles.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    Epic and Tim Weenie are not only owned by Chinese communist but everything they are asking for is what you would find in a communist regime 

    “Share everything”, “Apple makes  Too much profit”,

    is nobody seeing this? 
    Yes, we see your endless silly China bashing in thread after thread. Enough, grow the fuck up.
    muthuk_vanalingampscooter63stevenozwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 14 of 19
    Epic and Tim Weenie are not only owned by Chinese communist but everything they are asking for is what you would find in a communist regime 

    “Share everything”, “Apple makes  Too much profit”,

    is nobody seeing this? 
    Yes, we see your endless silly China bashing in thread after thread. Enough, grow the fuck up.
    You could argue that they are owned by China but that is just irrelevant.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Am I the first to notice that Epic spelled backwards is Dick?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,941member
    The case was over once their CEO admitted he was really after a special deal for Epic, he could care less about the larger picture, he just used the other developers as a way to bolster his claim it was unfair. The fact  they are spend this much time and money on the tail of their revenue stream, tells you they are just poor business people, who are trying and improve their revenue by 1% on the smallest part of their business. You would think it would be better time served if they focus this effort on where 80% of their revenue is generated.

    They were hoping that all the noise going on about how the app store is monopoly would help their case to get a special deal for them and only them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    lam92103 said:
    As if switching platform is easy or even possible, once you are part of the Apple world. One of the famous lines used on Windows folks is - Once you go mac, you don't go back
    That's not because it's difficult to switch between platforms. It's because using a Mac helps one realize what a steaming heap Windows is.
    pscooter63stevenozwatto_cobraDetnator
  • Reply 18 of 19
    cpsro said:
    Am I the first to notice that Epic spelled backwards is Dick?
    Ha! Best comment all day!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    Bombdoe said:
    So what has this really got to do with the basis of this court case, ie. Epic Games challenging...  "Apple's restrictions on apps from having other in-app purchasing methods outside of the one offered by the App Store." 

    How does the stuff being thrown up today directly relate to this?
    It's all about defining the size and shape of the market. For Apple to (a) have a monopoly and (b) abuse it, you have to carefully define the market in which the abuse is happening. This case will only have legs if the judge decides that "smartphone gaming" is the relevant market in the US AND that "smartphone gaming" = iPhone.

    Epic is going to lose.
    watto_cobra
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