Apple's Epic Threat to Epic

Ars Technica has word on the latest power-play in the epic battle between Epic and Apple. Last week Epic sued Apple for removing Fortnite from the Apple Store for circumventing royalties on V-Buck sales in Fortnite. Now Apple is threatening to kick Apple products, including the Unreal Engine, off of macOS and iOS, and Epic has filed an injunction claiming the damage this will do to them will be "unquantifiable and irreparable." Here's word:
Epic wrote in a court filing (PDF) that Apple said its membership in the Developer Program will be terminated as of August 28. According to Epic, Apple's move threatens not only Fortnite but also every game that uses Unreal Engine: "By August 28, Apple will cut off Epic's access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple's platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy," Epic said.

"If your membership is terminated, you may no longer submit apps to the ‌App Store‌, and your apps still available for distribution will be removed," the letter said.

According to the filing, Apple informed Epic that upon termination from the program, a lengthy list of tools and features would no longer be available to it, including software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and a host of other tools. Epic would also no longer be able to conduct "Engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware; optimize Unreal Engine on the Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI/Build Systems; and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team."

Fortnite is currently available for Mac through Epic's own digital storefront, which does not break Apple's rules.

"This would be an existential threat to the Unreal Engine," Epic said. "The damage to Epic's ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable."
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59 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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59.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 20, 2020, 03:10
59.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 20, 2020, 03:10
Aug 20, 2020, 03:10
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 19, 2020, 00:27:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 23:22:
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:18:
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.

I was pre-law at one point...

You made the right decision, as any lawyer will tell any almost lawyer

Huh, and TV makes it look so glamorous too.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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58.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 19, 2020, 07:18
58.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 19, 2020, 07:18
Aug 19, 2020, 07:18
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 23:22:
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:18:
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.
I was pre-law at one point...
Haha, reminds me of some number of years ago, after an "interaction" with my employers over a retention contract for myself and some office mates my direct boss asked me if I had worked previously as a lawyer. I was quite amused. I never considered being one, but I believe I have the right mindset for it.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
57.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 19, 2020, 03:22
Kxmode
 
57.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 19, 2020, 03:22
Aug 19, 2020, 03:22
 Kxmode
 
wtf_man wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 18:48:
Kxmode wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 18:36:
I'm not a friend of Epic, but this move by Apple proves Epic's point of Apple's monopolistic behavior.

Unfortunately, I don't think so. Epic is not a competitor, so this can't be seen as anti-competitive.

But they are.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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56.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 19, 2020, 01:13
56.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 19, 2020, 01:13
Aug 19, 2020, 01:13
 
Beamer wrote on Aug 19, 2020, 00:27:
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 23:22:
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:18:
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.

I was pre-law at one point...

You made the right decision, as any lawyer will tell any almost lawyer
I don't doubt that. Of the two lawyers that I know, one got into politics as fast as he could. I have worked for the other one who is a jack-of-all-trades small town lawyer. It's petty bullshit mixed with land disputes, divorces, child custody and will writing. The lawyer plays the role of social worker, psychologist therapist, friend, authoritarian and parental figure. So you might think that it's the clients that are the worst part but no, you still have to deal with shitbag lawyers.
I don't envy the job one bit.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
Avatar 58135
55.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 19, 2020, 00:27
55.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 19, 2020, 00:27
Aug 19, 2020, 00:27
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 23:22:
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:18:
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.

I was pre-law at one point...

You made the right decision, as any lawyer will tell any almost lawyer
54.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 23:22
54.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 23:22
Aug 18, 2020, 23:22
 
RedEye9 wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:18:
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.

I was pre-law at one point...
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
Avatar 22024
53.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 18:48
53.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 18:48
Aug 18, 2020, 18:48
 
Kxmode wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 18:36:
I'm not a friend of Epic, but this move by Apple proves Epic's point of Apple's monopolistic behavior.

Unfortunately, I don't think so. Epic is not a competitor, so this can't be seen as anti-competitive.

You have one company that simply violated another company's terms of service via a circumventing revenue app which was then pulled. Then the violating company got pissed off and started litigation. Finally the platform company then cut them off for "violating the agreement" in the first place (as an extra step from the original violation).

Again, I re-iterate... if this doesn't get settled... and tons of of other Developers apps stop working on the IOS platform because Epic can't update the engine to keep up with IOS security changes...this could eventually backfire on Apple when tons of apps end up only working on Android.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
Avatar 19499
52.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 18:43
Kxmode
 
52.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 18:43
Aug 18, 2020, 18:43
 Kxmode
 
Sepharo wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 16:07:
FloodAnxiety wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 15:35:
Epic could just increase the price of the in-app purchases on the Apple platform by the same 30%. Epic gets what they want. Apple gets what they want. Users can learn to use their Mac instead of their iDevice to make the purchase. Bonus of this plan is that if they made it obvious that in-app purchases are 30% more expensive only on the iDevice storefront, the would incentivizing iDevice users to make a non-iDevice their next purchase to avoid this inconvenience.

https://i.imgur.com/1arZQ55.png

Right? We're talking about people who think Coronavirus is a hoax. Asking them to do all the above is too much for their weed-soaked minds.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
51.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 18:41
Kxmode
 
51.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 18:41
Aug 18, 2020, 18:41
 Kxmode
 
NKD wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 00:10:
Apple vs Epic, whoever wins, we lose

I don't see it that way. Win or lose, Epic is going to dump a lot of money into this lawsuit and enough that I hope it prevents them from securing third-party exclusives.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
50.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 18:36
Kxmode
 
50.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 18:36
Aug 18, 2020, 18:36
 Kxmode
 
I'm not a friend of Epic, but this move by Apple proves Epic's point of Apple's monopolistic behavior.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
Avatar 18786
49.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 18:20
49.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 18:20
Aug 18, 2020, 18:20
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:02:
"You don't like how Apple does business? Go build your own trillion dollar mobile phone and application architecture company!" The old go-start-your-own-business fallacy.
Microsoft and Apple have effectively had a duopoly on the consumer computer OS market since before cells phones were a thing. Haven't noticed any action on that front. Apple is a bunch of dicks. But Epic trying to call them out is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Crying monopoly when you are busy signing exclusivity deals is pure hypocrisy. I have no issues with action being taken against Apple for their practices. I do have an issue with Epic being the ones calling for that action.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
48.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:36
Verno
 
48.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:36
Aug 18, 2020, 17:36
 Verno
 
wtf_man wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 16:30:
If you don't like a closed platform, which Apple is very up front about it, then don't buy their products.

I dumped Macintosh over it and I will dump IOS over it too when the Pinephone is ready for prime time. In the meantime... Google / Android is way more evil (tracking-wise / monetizing-wise), IMO... so I don't have much of a choice. I guess I could go with some of those older Google-less android phones out there... but I'd rather just wait for a pure linux phone.

Don't mix monopoly up with your disdain for a closed platform. A closed platform is not illegal.

Indeed. I don't think anyone here thinks any of the players involved are innocent or is "defending" anyone. People keep throwing around *opolies as if using the words makes it a fact and no one else can have an opinion. Investigations are not facts. Customers chose the marketplace we're in. There was not room for 5 different players, there wasn't even room for 3. Too much market fragmentation was hurting developers and customers. Anti-competitive actions did not bring us here, customers had alternative platforms, app stores and freely chose this. I personally think Apple and Google should better compensate companies who do business on their store because it's ultimately in their best interest to remain the platforms people want to use. By not doing so they are incentivizing someone else to enter the market and use a lower split as a competitive edge. Almost like what...Epic tried to do with the PC gaming market *gasp*. But what should that split entail? Who gets to decide what is or isn't fair to each individual company? And let's keep some of the focus on Epic here since they brought the suit. Epic didn't try to negotiate a better split, they just tried to end run the systems entirely and make that split zero. In fact they tried it in 2018 with Google and again now. The idea that the only solution here is to break up these companies is ridiculous. Google already allows customers to install other apps and even entire storefronts yet customers consistently choose not to bother. They shouldn't be forced to host a competitor to their store ON their store too. How would they possibly handle refunds, support, enforce rules and so on to ensure platform integrity? My cellphone is too damned important and carries a lot of personal info, I don't want 10 different app stores with differing rules, app permissions and all of that shit. "Monopoly! Duopoly! OPOLY!!!!!! Break em up" is not a solution to anything going on here.

The only solution I see would be some sort of dispute process arbitrated by third parties and scaling revenue split. But I bet that would involve some lawsuits too because some companies would feel unfairly targeted if others had a more favorable scenario than they did.
Playing: Subnautica Below Zero, Mass Effect Legendary, Resident Evil The Village
Watching: The Banishing, Bad Banks, Ted Lasso
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47.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:28
47.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:28
Aug 18, 2020, 17:28
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 16:36:
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 07:30:
Exactly. You can't start making furniture in your spare time and expect to force the local Lazy Boy franchise to make room for your stuff on the floor room whether or not they like it.
Yes, but if Laz-E-Boy was one of only two furniture makers in the entire US, you bet your ass the DoJ would be opening an anti-trust case and determining either regulation or breaking them up. Why should Google and Apple get a pass?
This seems like an extremely anti-innovation position on the face of it. If you invent anything, you have a monopoly, and therefore the government needs to step in post-haste and break you up. Because you suck.

In the case of Fortnite, Epic's not limited to two retail avenues. The same game is also sold on the Switch, 2 Xbox platforms, 2 Playstation platforms, and 2 open PC platforms.

But say the DoJ decides that's not relevant. What makes you think they'd see 30% as unfair, an abuse of the system? I pointed out that there are like 10 gaming publishers all charging 30%, but your answer was that they're all duopolies, or triopolies or de facto monopolies, or of course the other PC marketplaces are following the leader (i.e., monopolist). But royalty rates for books, music or photography are way worse than 70%. What industry treats its artists better? You think the DoJ will jump in and say 12% for video games is the right number to throw the government's regulatory weight behind, why?
46.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:26
46.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:26
Aug 18, 2020, 17:26
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:17:
The US government has done that many times in our history when a company has come to dominate an industry the way Apple has here.
jdreyer wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 17:17:
When closed vertically integrated platforms have abused their market position, the government has stepped in and broken them apart or forced some other regulation on them.

I'm so shocked that people are stepping in and defending the duopolistic Apple's arrogant and childish power play here: "We'll block all Unreal Engine products! Waaaah!"

I'm not disagreeing, nor defending Apple per se.

Just saying a close platform ain't illegal.

And unless or until the US declares that they have abused their position... they are currently free to tell Epic to Pound Sand for violating their platform rules, and they are not any obligation to continue to provide access to their platform or tools by a hostile entity (someone litigating against them).

What I am defending, is that just because Epic doesn't like Apple's cut... that doesn't give them the right to circumvent the platform.

Also... they are not blocking all Unreal products... they are only blocking the company that makes unreal products from it's APIs and developer status. In other words... tons of unreal engine'd applications by other developers are not being taken off the app store, nor being denied acess to the API's / Dev status / Etc.. Now if this doesn't get settled... yes, eventually other developers using unreal my have an issue with the latest IOS or security update or whatever, if Epic can't have access to keep up the newer IOS builds...

BUT... that could also backfire on Apple, if suddenly all those apps were only working on Android.

This comment was edited on Aug 18, 2020, 18:07.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
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45.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:19
45.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:19
Aug 18, 2020, 17:19
 
But like for real? Who the fuck is gaming on a MAC? Even the so called "Creatives" don't want to use Mac, that's why they run windows.

Avatar 15164
44.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:18
44.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:18
Aug 18, 2020, 17:18
 
JD,
It’s not too late for you to go to law school. You’ve got the brain for it.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
Avatar 58135
43.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:17
43.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:17
Aug 18, 2020, 17:17
 
wtf_man wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 16:30:
It doesn't work that way. You cannot dictate that a business be open or closed with their platform, infrastructure, or intellectual property.
The US government has done that many times in our history when a company has come to dominate an industry the way Apple has here.

If you don't like a closed platform, which Apple is very up front about it, then don't buy their products.

I dumped Macintosh over it and I will dump IOS over it too when the Pinephone is ready for prime time. In the meantime... Google / Android is way more evil (tracking-wise / monetizing-wise), IMO... so I don't have much of a choice. I guess I could go with some of those older Google-less android phones out there... but I'd rather just wait for a pure linux phone.

Don't mix monopoly up with your disdain for a closed platform. A closed platform is not illegal.
When closed vertically integrated platforms have abused their market position, the government has stepped in and broken them apart or forced some other regulation on them.

I'm so shocked that people are stepping in and defending the duopolistic Apple's arrogant and childish power play here: "We'll block all Unreal Engine products! Waaaah!"
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
Avatar 22024
42.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:08
42.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:08
Aug 18, 2020, 17:08
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 13:40:
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 10:27:
LurkerLito wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 09:42:
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 07:30:
bigspender wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 04:44:
That's a closed software environment, not a monopoly.
Exactly. You can't start making furniture in your spare time and expect to force the local Lazy Boy franchise to make room for your stuff on the floor room whether or not they like it.

And if that was the case I agree, but that's not how it works in the Apple world. In Apple world, you aren't even allowed to start making furniture unless you agree to only sell your stuff at the Lazy Boy store. If you have the audacity to think about selling your creations in your own store, they take away all the resources (wood, padding, fabric, metal, plastic, nails, screws, glue, etc), and tools you use to make or maintain existing products.

Okay, maybe I am more ignorant here than I already thought I was, if so let me know. Isn't this more like Apple saying you can't use our tools to build the furniture. You could build your own tools, right? Now granted, I understand that might create a barrier so large profit would only be a dream. But if there is nothing preventing you from doing so other than the cost and effort, I don't see where Apple should be forced to allow use of their tools.

Apple is saying if you want to sell your Apple approved products in their showroom it'll cost you 30% of sales. No one is being forced to buy Apple or support Apple. If Apple were an actual monopoly we'd all be using it and having to abide by their rules. 30 points is the price of doing business with them. Don't like it? Don't do business with them. If every company did that Apple would stop with the walled garden shit anyway. They're better off trying to convince other companies not to sell on or support Apple until Apple changes its policies. CC companies charge 25 points interest on average and no one is crying about that. It's legalized usury IMO but again, I'm not being forced to use their product.

Very few companies can survive by voluntarily ceding 50% of sales. That's the power of monopolies/duopolies.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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41.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:06
41.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:06
Aug 18, 2020, 17:06
 
Acleacius wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 13:27:
Orogogus wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 12:15:
Acleacius wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 09:46:
I honestly don't see epic having any standing
They have an app on Apple store. That's their standing; the outcome here directly affects them. You mean they don't have a (strong) case.
I guess we could parse 'wording'? Frivolous or without merit? epic seems to be intentionally circumventing policies for all apps. 'They got caught, and are crying like a baby' standing?

They did it to prove a point: that Apple and Google comprise a duopoly in the mobile app industry, and thus there isn't free competition. If we had 10 app delivery companies competing with each other, there's no way 30% would be the standard. Google and Apple (or Steam, for that matter) have no incentive to be efficient, since there's essentially no competition and market share is basically baked in.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
Avatar 22024
40.
 
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic
Aug 18, 2020, 17:02
40.
Re: Apple's Epic Threat to Epic Aug 18, 2020, 17:02
Aug 18, 2020, 17:02
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 10:27:
LurkerLito wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 09:42:
Mr. Tact wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 07:30:
bigspender wrote on Aug 18, 2020, 04:44:
That's a closed software environment, not a monopoly.
Exactly. You can't start making furniture in your spare time and expect to force the local Lazy Boy franchise to make room for your stuff on the floor room whether or not they like it.

And if that was the case I agree, but that's not how it works in the Apple world. In Apple world, you aren't even allowed to start making furniture unless you agree to only sell your stuff at the Lazy Boy store. If you have the audacity to think about selling your creations in your own store, they take away all the resources (wood, padding, fabric, metal, plastic, nails, screws, glue, etc), and tools you use to make or maintain existing products.
Okay, maybe I am more ignorant here than I already thought I was, if so let me know. Isn't this more like Apple saying you can't use our tools to build the furniture. You could build your own tools, right? Now granted, I understand that might create a barrier so large profit would only be a dream. But if there is nothing preventing you from doing so other than the cost and effort, I don't see where Apple should be forced to allow use of their tools.

"You don't like how Apple does business? Go build your own trillion dollar mobile phone and application architecture company!" The old go-start-your-own-business fallacy.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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