Epic Games has fought a long war with Apple. This is after the game Fortnite was removed from the App Store after Epic Games made the option to pay directly within the game. This is in violation of its contract, and what is commonly accepted on iOS applications and games.
The first court ruling was made in the case. Accordingly, quite simply, both Apple and Epic Games lost the legal battle. But Epic Games’ loss was even greater.
The only ones who have won from the outcome of that legal battle are app developers in general, but Epic Games wasn’t among them.
Judge Gonzalez Rogers ruled and issued a permanent nationwide injunction preventing Apple from using its payment method as an exclusive payment method within apps, games, and the App Store in general.
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The war between Apple and Epic Games
The US court has recognized the right of application developers to add other payment methods of their own. However, the decision is not yet clear, and many details are lacking.
This is because the court stated the possibility of adding a dedicated “button” for payment. In fact, the decision depends entirely on how the court defines the word “button.” However, this decision in general has exposed Apple to a loss of up to 19 billion US dollars.
Speaking of Epic Games, the court generally did not support it. It is true that the company has succeeded in calling for it to add other means of payment to prevent monopoly, but it has succeeded in achieving its own goals.
Perhaps the main goal of the company in this judicial war was to restore the game Fortnite for the iOS platform, and the company did not succeed in any way in that. Whereas, the judge found that Fortnite’s previous addition of external payment methods was a clear breach of its contract with Apple.
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On the other hand, Apple has completely banned the Epic Games account on the App Store. So the judge, Gonzalez Rogers, recognized Apple’s right to do so.
The Corpino giant has the right to generally reject any app or game published by Epic Games. Even if it was owned by a subsidiary of it, this was also recognized by the judge in the final ruling.
On the other hand, Epic Games also lost $3.6 million to Apple. This is because the company had made 12.2 million dollars in direct payments within the game Fortnite before it was deleted by Apple, and the judge recognized Apple’s right to 30% of this amount. The same percentage of payments that Apple generally gets.
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Losing Epic Games
The aforementioned amount is not a huge amount in the world of leading tech companies. However, that’s not all that Epic Games has lost. As the company has lost its investment in the expenses of the case against Apple, which includes legal expenses and attorneys’ fees and many other items.
In addition, the biggest loss lies in the number of players who have lost access to the game Fortnite on iPhone and iPad tablets. The game generated an estimated revenue of $614 million on iOS only in its first two years. Including $52.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019 alone.
And since the game was deleted from the store, Epic Games no longer made any profit from it except by players who owned it on their phones before it was removed from the store. However, they didn’t make much difference.
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Apple is in danger
There is no doubt that the loss of Epic Games was really big. But it’s nothing compared to what Apple might lose if developers rely on third-party payment methods for their apps.
This is because the Cupertino giant, as mentioned above, generates up to $19 billion annually in revenue from in-app payments or sales of paid apps and games on the Store. A third of this amount the company gets only from the US market.
Although Epic Games did not dare to describe the court ruling as a win for it, since it did not restore its game on Apple platforms. However, her opponent did. Apple described the court’s decisions as a “resounding victory.”
Perhaps the company was right, given that in those cases it was originally accused of being a monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act, but it ended up being accused of only one charge under a lighter law, the California Unfair Competition Act.
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On the other hand, the court did not attempt to force the company to provide a variety of app stores on the iPhone, or even to allow applications to be installed externally. It also did not comment on the 30% obtained by the company, nor did it demand a reduction.
All in all, the company will not accept any loss of $19 billion annually. On the other hand, the court’s decisions have been described as highly biased. So no one knows what will happen in the coming months in this regard.
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