Epic Games has launched lawsuits against Apple and Google for their abusive mobile app store business practices in Australia. The suits represent yet another escalation of Epic’s push to get the tech giants to change their ways.
“Epic gave Fortnite players on iOS and Google Play a choice between Apple/Google payment and Epic direct payment, passing on savings to direct purchasers,” the Epic explains. “Apple and Google retaliated by blocking Fortnite updates. If Apple had not been restrained by court action, it also threatened to prevent Epic from creating software for all Apple devices — not just on Fortnite but all of our games, and Unreal Engine too.”
Nothing in the new suits is particularly new: Epic has sued both firms in various locales, so the only thing unique here is the “in Australia” bit. As with its other suits, Epic is trying to force Apple and Google, the two gatekeepers on mobile, to allow developers to use third-party payment systems and to offer their apps and services outside of the mobile stores they control.
“Apple’s policies are so restrictive that they block gaming services like Microsoft xCloud, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Google Stadia from existing on iOS,” Epic notes. “Apple’s policies would have even blocked the World Wide Web if it had been invented after the iPhone, because Apple policies disallow running code not reviewed by Apple, accepting payments directly from customers, and accessing content not reviewed by Apple — all fundamental features of the web. These policies, together with Apple’s chilling enforcement strategy, directly impede innovation and invention of entirely new kinds of apps, games, and businesses.”
They sure do. Go, Epic!