Epic Games Goes After Apple For Anti-competitive Payment Processing

Epic Games Apple Anticompetitive Payment Processing.png

Things are about to get spicy in the world of mobile apps as Epic Games got the boot on Apple for offering alternative payment processing. Apple themselves charge in the neighborhood of 30% rates for in-app purchases on developers who have no other choice but to go through them if they want to be on IOS devices from iPhones to Ipads and so on.

Normally when you see a walled garden that Apple has in its market that not the biggest deal in the world. Expect there just one issue here between Apple and Android they are the market for app distribution and payment processing on mobile devices for those looking to play by the rules. You would have to root your phone in many instances and do other things to get the tight grip that they companies hold on the mobile market for any kind of choice which they fight tooth and nail to avoid being doing.

While I’m not a mobile gamer myself I find what Epic Games did with Fortnite to be cleaver in the IOS store. They offered players the choice to pick who should process their payment for an in-app purchase. On one side you had Epic Games and on the other Apple. Naturally, with Apple taking up to a 30% cut, they were not the competitive option for players to select when paying. Apple was not happy about this and gave them the boot.

While Epic Games does declare they have suffered an amount exceeding legal requirements to go after Apple in their complaint filed against them for a whole host of things since it exceeds $75k. Epic Games is not looking to let Apple off the hook with a couple of fines and a few cents tossed into their coffer. No, they want something much more powerful in my opinion— payment and distribution choice for users.

For those not in the gaming world, Epic Games themselves have been expanding in a very aggressive manner their platform on the PC. They are offering bigger discounts, piles of free games, and locking down exclusive deals for titles left in right. This is the short term has been quite amazing for gamers getting a cheaper product. The exclusivity sucks but that is how they are winning the war.

As a result, you only have to check out games on the Steam store for instance who is a major competitor. Lots of game titles themselves are releasing this year just not on Steam right away. Even further when these two go into major sales Epic Games tends to have better deals. I don’t see gamers looking to pay full price on a year old release by then. Let alone a higher price when both platforms are having a sale in the long run.

Epic Games can lock down those deals by simply offering to take a lower cut for payment processing and other services such as distribution. While I’m not quite sure how much of a haircut they are taking as you have seen if you are a gamer it’s more than enough to lure game developers into certain deals.

Interestingly enough in the complaint Epic Games filed against Apple, they bring up the 30% cut apple charges 23 times. Which as we all know Epic Games has already proven they can and will undercut the price they charge if you need to go through Apple.

Besides, as quoted “nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company” which in itself is quite an interesting way to word things. There are lots of companies that have to pay out that up to 30% to Apple with zero alternatives. I also don’t even want to think about how Apple is going to deal with things like cryptocurrency where players can sell to other players outside of Apple's control and financial gain. Something tells me they might take an issue with that and it’s slow down blockchain gaming with developers having to find clever ways to be within Apple's terms and conditions.

If Epic Games can succeed there are far more reaching ramifications than just in the gaming world or for Epic Games themselves. This would mean all apps have in some way or another been suffering at the hands of an overzealous 30% rate without fair competition to the massive mobile market. Others could use this case if needed if Epic Games wins to make their claims and file damages they have suffered perhaps?

Final Thoughts

We have seen it ourselves in cryptocurrency the struggle apps go through just to make it onto the Apple store. It is often quite a slow process having massive finical cost to those looking to launch on the mobile market due to delay and inaction. Not to mention Apple has been known on a whim to just flat out terminate cryptocurrency apps. This then causes the developer to have to fight it and wait sometimes months to get permitted back into the walled garden Apple keeps. Which are a lot of lost time and money the app developer.

This is more than just the Free Fornite movement Epic Games is trying to start on Twitter. It’s free the mobile devices from the Apple monopoly for payment processing and distribution. I could see quite a lot of companies and large piles of cash wanting to get in on both sides of this dispute. Not to mention the nod to the year 1984 and how they are promoting all of this was quite a cleaver move.

Other Content


Written by @Enjar about my opinion regarding Epic Games complaint against Apple.