I know there are two camps to be in when it comes to the whole Epic versus “the thirty percent” ordeal, but I find it difficult to base myself in either one.
On one hand, yes, Apple is making a huge pile of money off of the apps in the App Store. Thirty percent has been the industry standard for a facilitator’s take for quite awhile now and it’s not as if they’ve made that decision out of the pure intentions of spinning up an entire ecosystem for developers to cash in on.
However, it’s hard to dismiss that Apple own the entire ecosystem and that one can‘t simply have the government force Apple’s hand to do anything that’s not already considered under the law.
Ultimately, if you want to game on your mobile device and you would prefer to install whatever games you want, you’re not using an iOS device, anyway. If you are, you’re probably jailbreaking it, in which case keeping an App Store-based game up-to-date is more of a pain than a plus. And besides, with a jailbroken iOS device, you have access to the entirety of what emulation can bring you, and that’s a vast library of good ol’ games you can spend hours upon hours with and not spend a dime.
If you really cared about what you were putting on your phone to the point that you want to buck the official repositories for applications and run your own mix of software, you’re already on Android. And you have your own launcher. And you’ve probably rooted your handset already.
The suit that Epic is threatening Apple and Google with is about forcing these two tech giants to bow to another rising tech giant’s dream of becoming even bigger. Not to mention this only raises the platform of a slightly declining Fortnite, which maintains its status as the top tier battle royale in the industry.
Notably absent are the reactions of MSFT, Nintendo, and Sony. I wonder what they think about having their revenues cut back from Epic‘s crusade.
Epic’s spending with relation to esports has never matched up to its care for the integrity of its competition, but you can’t deny that the company has been itching for a real fight to prove itself beyond the gaming industry—especially as it begins furnishing its Unreal technology into more niches. While some might point at its Chinese backing with disdain, it’s still a majority American-held entity. I imagine that its Chinese minority holders don’t care for being shut out of a potential windfall that such an injunction could provide, but in such a politically charged climate regarding outside investment into what could be considered American institutions, I would have to wonder if they’re a little hesitant with Sweeney’s gambit.
In conclusion, the Epic fight is a dumb move to open up Apple’s walled garden in order to grow the slice of its pie.