“Fortnite” developer Epic Games is suing both Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google after both mobile app platforms removed the company’s popular battle royale title from their stores over direct payment issues.
What Happened: Neither platform is allowing access to “Fortnite” through their digital marketplaces.
Epic’s lawsuit said Apple has grown into a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation,” according to CNET.
“Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched and more pernicious than monopolies of yesteryear. Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history,” the game developer said.
Why It’s Important: Last month, Apple became the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, even bypassing Saudi Arabia’s oil company Saudi Aramco. Apple has a market valuation of $1.9 trillion.
In its lawsuit, Epic is seeking “injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”
Google, like Apple, takes a 30% cut of in-app billing. While the cut probably isn’t as harmful to a large company like Epic, the large revenue shares held by companies like Apple and Google have created massive barriers for indie game developers.
Emma Maassen, founder of Kitsune Games, said on Twitter that if companies took only 12% as Epic Games does on its storefront, her studio would not have to rely on crowdfunding to develop a new title. Other indie game developers echoed the same sentiment.
What’s Next: The back-and-forth battle between Epic, Google, and Apple has created a massive wave of emotion in the gaming community.
“Epic knows that gamers have proven that if you can make them angry enough and get the right hashtag in front of them, they can be effectively weaponized,” wrote Rebekah Valentine, senior staff writer at Gameindustry.biz.
“Fortnite” screenshot courtesy of Epic Games.
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