Epic asks Apple to reinstate developer account so it can re-release 'Fortnite' in Korea [u...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 10
Following the passage of a law in South Korea that loosens Apple's hold on App Store payments, Epic Games on Thursday said it asked the tech giant to reinstate its developer account in hopes of re-releasing "Fortnite" in that country.

Fortnite


Epic, which is embroiled in a worldwide legal battle with Apple over App Store policy, said it wants to release "Fortnite" in South Korea with both first- and third-party payment systems, in line with the country's new app store law.

"Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account," Epic said in a tweet posted to the official "Fortnite" account. "Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law."

In late August, South Korean lawmakers passed the Telecommunications Business Act. Dubbed the "Anti-Google law" by local media for its targeted language against owners of digital app stores, the legislation forces dominant app store operators Apple and Google to allow alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. Currently, developers marketing wares on the App Store need to use Apple's payment system and are thus subject to an up to 30% commission rate.

The law also places prohibitions on app store rules that dissuade cross-platform distribution.

Apple kicked "Fortnite" off the App Store last year after Epic surreptitiously implemented an alternative in-app payment option that sidestepped the marketplace's mandatory commission mechanism. Because the company openly flouted Apple's developer agreement, its developer account was deactivated. An ensuing legal blitz painted Apple as a monopolist and sought to reshape fundamental App Store policy.

Along with allowances for third-party payment methods, Epic wants Apple to change its rules regarding the restriction of third-party app stores on iOS.

Epic's primary lawsuit in California wrapped in May, though Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has yet to issue a ruling. A decision in favor of Epic could severely impact Apple's App Store business.

Apple is facing mounting external pressure to modify its App Store dealings. Last month, the tech giant agreed to a proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit that would enable developers in the U.S. to discuss alternative payment methods via email, easing but not completely ameliorating criticism of anti-steering policies. Days later, Apple said it would allow developers of "reader" apps to link out to the web for account management purposes, a concession that closed a Japanese investigation into the App Store.

Update: Hours after Epic's tweet, Apple said it will not reinstate the developer's account until it "agree[s] to play by the same rules as everyone else."

"As we've said all along, we would welcome Epic's return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there's no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account," the company said in a statement.

The Korean legislation cited by Epic in its plea is not yet in effect and Apple is not obligated to approve developer account applications or reinstate a terminated account when the law is ratified, Apple says.

Epic needs to conform to the App Store Review Guidelines, but the company has refused to do so, Apple says.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    longpathmagman1979jahbladespock1234pichaeln2itivguyllamaviclauyycwatto_cobrastevenoz
  • Reply 2 of 30
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    No apis means no apps. We all know how well that worked out for Windows Mobile


    magman1979chemengin1watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 30
    You invated so many contracts and on top of that you sue them and the cases it’s not even end yet, you also want to take their business by open up back door App Store and now you ask Apple to reinstate your developer account? What the heck if we only have more people like the epic guys I don’t think I want to live here I rather die because then the world be nothing but evilness and no hope.
    magman1979spock1234pichaelviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.


    chasmlongpathmagman1979jahbladeKTRspock1234baconstangpichaeln2itivguyfotoformat
  • Reply 5 of 30
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    longpathbeowulfschmidtllamawatto_cobrastevenoz
  • Reply 6 of 30
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    edited September 9 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    This is untrue.
    elijahgmagman1979fastasleep
  • Reply 8 of 30
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    Well, Epic has already shot itself in the foot. Pulling Unreal Engine would be just cutting off their feet. There are still other engines such as Unity and Cocos2D. I doubt people buy an iPhone for serious gaming.
    rob53foadRudeBoyRudyjahbladespock1234n2itivguyviclauyycwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    Yes that’s why they are asking Apple to reinstate them so they can sell in the South Korean market . So unless Apple is able to make a legal case against the law they either have to reinstate Epic or leave the South Korean market.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 30
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,124member
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    Both of these arguments are silly. Apple won’t block Epic out of spite and Epic won’t pull iOS and macOS support out of spite or retaliation either. 

    Neither wants to throw away revenue.  Armchair critics seems to think running a company is like being head of a clique in a junior school playground.
    foadjfeth001jahbladebonobobspock1234muthuk_vanalingamchemengin1watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 30
    maestro64 said:
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    Yes that’s why they are asking Apple to reinstate them so they can sell in the South Korean market . So unless Apple is able to make a legal case against the law they either have to reinstate Epic or leave the South Korean market.
    An absolutely reasonable 3rd option may be to pay the fine for non-compliance and build that fee into the cost of Apple equipment pricing in South Korea.
    jahbladeKTRspock1234Detnatorfotoformatviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 30
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,374member
    I'm not aware that S.Korea new law placed a ban on Apple 15%-30% commission. Just that developers can use their own payment systems. This is not like the suits going on  elsewhere, where developers are complaining about Apple 30% commission as being an abuse of a "monopoly".  

    i would think all Apple have to do is to tell Epic that they will be allowed in the Apple App Store in S. Korea, as soon as they develop a payment system that keeps track of the 15% or 30% commission, that they would still owe Apple. (Or whatever commission rate Apple negotiate with developers with their own payment system.) Since Epic would probably still be required to collect the sales tax for S. Korea, it shouldn't be too hard for developers to also collect the "Apple tax" for Apple. 

    I don't remember Apple ever claiming that the App store 15% or 30% commission is solely for processing the payment for the developers. Though there seems to be a lot of people that seems to think that that's all the commission pays for.  
    spock1234Detnatordarkpawllamawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 30
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    It would be kind of hard for Epic to threaten Apple with something that Apple was about to do when Epic pleaded with the court to stop them. Epic is dependent on Apple tech to make their Engine work so, those developers should have focused on working directly with Apple instead of the snake oil salesman at Epic. 
    spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 30
    KTRKTR Posts: 192member
    maestro64 said:
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    Yes that’s why they are asking Apple to reinstate them so they can sell in the South Korean market . So unless Apple is able to make a legal case against the law they either have to reinstate Epic or leave the South Korean market.
    An absolutely reasonable 3rd option may be to pay the fine for non-compliance and build that fee into the cost of Apple equipment pricing in South Korea.
    Or. Make the Korean version of the iOS fee base there.
    spock1234
  • Reply 15 of 30
    roakeroake Posts: 776member
    maestro64 said:
    Hasn't epic heard they can now set up their own store in Korea and sell at whatever price they like.
    Yes that’s why they are asking Apple to reinstate them so they can sell in the South Korean market . So unless Apple is able to make a legal case against the law they either have to reinstate Epic or leave the South Korean market.
    As I understand it, Apple is under no obligation whatsoever to restate Epic’s account regardless of the law in South Korea.  The new Korean law doesn’t force Apple to give developer accounts to anyone.  It only has to do with the degree of certain types of control Apple has over apps that are published on iOS in that market.

    Epic is making this request only to create noise around it’s case.  Epic knew before they asked that Apple would say no.
    n2itivguybeowulfschmidtllamaviclauyycwatto_cobratht
  • Reply 16 of 30
    roakeroake Posts: 776member

    I think it would be reasonable if Apple completely exited the South Korean (home of Samsung) market.  Otherwise, other markets will follow suit as a money grab; it will be far cheaper for Apple to pay the fine than to give away their income on apps.  That’s free money for that market that Apple has to pay to keep doing business.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Epuc is so entitled it’s s
    tragic. 

    The entire reason Apple revoked their account was due to breach of contract. An bad take by Korea doesn’t excuse the breach of contract. 

    Epic can do the right thing and get back in line or they can forgo the benefit of having Apple is a partner. 
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 30
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    I don't think Apple would even blink if Epic pulled unreal from iOS or MacOS.  Then again, it would damage Epic more than Apple.
    beowulfschmidtllamawatto_cobrarobabajony0
  • Reply 19 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,031member
    B-Mc-C said:
    They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
    Apple should just revoke their developer license permanently and move on. Apple's property, Apple's choice. Let Epic go on to enjoy 100% commitment to Android.
    At which point Epic can decide to pull iOS support from Unreal Engine, cutting out a massive segment of the iOS/iPadOS gaming market, or worse, kill Unreal Engine for macOS and destroy a large segment of the 3D market. Nobody wants that, but just saying at some point this war needs to end and its in everyone's — even outside of Apple and Epic — that it doesn't result in those kinds of casualties.
    Yeah that would make zero sense since Epic would lose even more revenue, and only piss off their own customers. 

    Good thing you're not actually running a company and making big boy decisions that affect employees, customers, and shareholders.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 30
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,031member
    roake said:

    I think it would be reasonable if Apple completely exited the South Korean (home of Samsung) market.  Otherwise, other markets will follow suit as a money grab; it will be far cheaper for Apple to pay the fine than to give away their income on apps.  That’s free money for that market that Apple has to pay to keep doing business.
    No that's not "reasonable" at all.  Apple is not prohibited from charging for the services it provides developers, and it can certainly monetize the App Store in other ways that comply with local laws. 
    watto_cobra
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