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In a wide-ranging interview with CNN Business, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, says that his company spent months preparing its lawsuit against Apple, which is internally codenamed "Project Liberty."

fortnite_apple_featured.jpg


Epic launched an all-out assault against Apple after it removed Fortnite from the App Store in August after the app implemented a direct payment method for in-app purchases. App Store policy requires all apps to use its own system for in-app purchases which gives Apple a 30% commission for all purchases made. Epic's refusal to comply with the policy resulted in the app getting kicked from the platform.

Sweeney says in his interview that Epic "spent months" developing and preparing its lawsuit against Apple, which was notably launched and announced publicly within hours of Fortnite's removal from the App Store.

Internally, Epic calls the lawsuit "Project Liberty," clearly echoing the idea that the lawsuit is meant to open up Apple's platforms further for smaller developers, hence providing them "liberty". Despite the focus of the lawsuit being the App Store's 30% commission policy, Sweeney says it actually comes down to the idea that he believes open platforms are "the key to free markets and the future of computing".

Developers have been questioning whether the 30% commission is a fair price for developers to pay back to Apple, given, for example, that Epic Games made $1.3 billion from Fortnite in-game purchases in 2020.

Epic Games had a valuation of $17.3 billion at the end of last year, and on the financial front, Sweeney says Epic has "the financial independence" to conduct its suit against Apple and Google, largely thanks to the fact that Epic Games is not a publicly listed company.

When pressed for specifics on how much its lawsuit against Apple was costing Epic, Sweeney refused to reply, simply saying it is consuming "lots and lots" of time from company leadership. It's clear, however, that with millions of Apple users unable to play Fortnite on their devices, the company is likely experiencing some financial struggle given iOS users have generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue for Epic since it launched on the platform, according to Sensor Tower data cited by CNN Business.

All in all, however, Sweeney says the struggles are worth it due to the fear that the future of platforms such as the App Store will be completely dominated by platform owners like Apple, and have no other developers on them.

"[The companies] will just do that industry by industry and app category by app category until they've gobbled up everything that matters. And who will be left?" said Sweeney. "A million indie developers who collectively together make a small percentage of revenues on the app store because these businesses are too small to be attractive to steal."

Lastly, Sweeney addresses controversial comments he made in November in which he stated that the fight for civil rights and Epic's fight for platform "liberty" are similar. The comments caused widespread backlash, and in response, Sweeney says he believes "it's perfectly healthy" to draw similarities between "vital causes in the history of the world" and the fight on app platforms.

"The point is if you really want to make a difference, you have to buck the system," Sweeney said in response to the criticism. "I think there's a lot we can learn from any of the past struggles in humanity and I think it's perfectly healthy to apply struggles from vital causes in the history of the world to struggles over smaller issues like software platforms."

Most recently, Epic Games filed a complaint against Apple in the UK, claiming that Apple's removal of Fortnite from the App Store was "unlawful" and seeking for the app to be reinstated. The UK complaint followed in the footsteps of Epic's agreements in the United State and Australia. In all countries, Epic says it's not asking for damages from Apple and is simply seeking "fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers". Both companies are preparing to face off in court in July of this year.

Article Link: Epic Games 'Spent Months' Preparing Lawsuit Against Apple, Codenamed 'Project Liberty'
 
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Captain Trips

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2020
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In a wide-ranging interview with CNN Business, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, says that his company spent months preparing its lawsuit against Apple, which is internally codenamed "Project Liberty."
[bold emphasis in quote above added by me]

So, Epic Games is using the same lawyers representing ex-President Trump in the 2nd impeachment trial? Or maybe they are using Rudy Giuliani?

Either way, that should work out well for Epic...
 
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robinp

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2008
622
1,183
I don’t believe this idea that they are doing it for a greater good; to help small developers. Epic are by any normal definition, a very large company. The App Store has helped many small developers to go independent and make a living. In Epic’s world view, they would dominate by having one of the many large app stores and being the gate keeper instead of Apple. I don’t see how that’s is any kind of improvement for small developers.
 
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TarJac333

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2021
25
33
It's in Epic's interest to be as prepared as possible. This is a non - story.

And yes, Epic can survive very well without iOS.
iOS was a big flow of money for them. As mentioned above, they used to make a lot of money.. so losing iOS can kinda affect their sales. Lil Timmy wants every single dollar, no cent left aside. This is unfortunately, the sad truth. Children's games are now turning into money machines.

I kinda hate such people.
 
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Billyk711

Suspended
Sep 26, 2015
285
130
It's more than that. It's more evidence they were looking to pick a fight. They need to calm down. It's too bad Apple wasn't allowed to block all Unreal games.
In the long run This just effects children that play fortnite. The owner of epic is in for a rude awakening when another popular game comes a long and all the kids forget about fortnite
 
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wrkngclasshero

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2008
151
24
Columbia, MD
Frankly.... this just seems like the rich squabbling to get richer.

As far as this lawsuit goes I only care about 2 things:

a) I’d like to play fortnite on my iPhone again w/o streaming it from a 3rd party like Shadow or GFN.

b) I would love to be able to install (understandably at my own risk) 3rd party apps through means other than the App Store. Odds are 99% of my apps would be through Apple’s distribution system, but having the option to install things like emulators on my phone would be nice.
 
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MauiPa

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2018
1,780
2,541
I'm confused. If they just use an off App Store payment system like Spotify does, then like Spotify, they would not pay any App Store fees to anyone. so what is their beef? clearly they have a payment system already. Go to Epic pay, buy a game, go to any device you own, play that game, duh?
 
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