|OT| Epic vs Apple/Google - Battle of the Tims

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so the next hearing (just about the injunction re: unreal engine, nothing else) is sept 28. looks like the judge will issue a restraining order until then that allows sdk access to unreal engine for updates but will not restore fortnite to the app store.
 

Alexandros

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Both lawyers are selling snake oil and the judge is having none of it, I love it.
Yeah the judge seems to understand the subject very well.

Unreal is in, Fortnite is out.
 

Alexandros

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I think this part of the ruling is the most interesting one:

Epic Games moves this Court to allow it to access Apple’s platform for free while it makes money on each purchase made on the same platform. While the Court anticipates experts will opine that Apple’s 30 percent take is anti-competitive, the Court doubts that an expert would suggest a zero percent alternative. Not even Epic Games gives away its products for free.
 

Ascheroth

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So UE and Fornite were under different accounts/contracts, guess it makes sense then.
I've listened to the Hoeg Law video on it and they apparently have 6 individual developer accounts that are each under a "different" Epic company.
Though he said that Apple could potentially argue that those are just shell companies since every single account has the same tax id, payment info and stuff associated with it and therefore extend the breach of contract to all of them. Which is I guess moot now since the judge already ruled? Not sure how this all works.

Was a bunch of other interesting information in it as well.
Not sure how this would work now with the court stating that Apple has to leave UE alone for now, but in theory Apple still have a nuclear option in their contracts which is "we can terminate our contract with you for whatever reason we want as long as we give you a 30 day notice". The "we don't wanna do business with you anymore, fuck off" button.
 

C-Dub

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This is only a temporary restraining order, so things can change. The judge has opted to avoid chaos for developers by disallowing Apple to cut Epic off at the end of this week, but that's it.

No one has said anything about the case at large. Epic could be completely blackballed from Apple platforms still.
 

Rosenkrantz

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I'm still glad Epic is losing tons of money because of their arrogance. I don't think their lawyers expected to win TRO in the Fortnite case, but it possibly can go on for years and will result in a potential loss of billions for Tim.
 
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Ascheroth

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I'm still glad Epic is losing tons of money because of their arrogance. I don't think their lawyers expected to win TRO in the Fortnite case, but it possibly can go on for years and will result in a potential loss of billions for Tim.
Personally I'm more interested in the potential long term damage to their reputation and possible ramifications of that in regards to their Engine business.
Would you want to build your business on top of middleware whose provider is known for deliberately breaching contracts and having no qualms about putting their clients in danger and using them as hostages in legal fights that are about increasing their own profits?
 

Alexandros

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I noticed something potentially interesting. Tim Sweeney liked the following tweet:


I don't know if the person who made the drawing actually has information on Xbox's cut but if he does then the 'mystery' of why Epic isn't targeting console makers has been solved.
 
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Some time ago, the WinStore changed their cut for apps to 5%, but not for games. I don't think that should affect the xbox but who knows.
 
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Mivey

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A subtle detail about this initial temporary order, is that Apple argument was based on whether the other Epic account was really just a shell company for Epic Games (which it is), the Judge decided to be cautious and ordered Apple to not ban their account, but assuming that the judge rules that Epic broke the rules and therefore Apple is in the right here, and Apple can prove that all of Epics other accounts are ultimately just shell companies, then I could see Unreal Engine still being effectively banned on iOS devices, at least there wouldn't be any legal argument keeping Apple from doing it.
 

Alexandros

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I 'd rather seen Epic completely crushed in court, but this ruling is the best outcome for developers which makes me happy.
I think that a landslide victory is unlikely for either party but one phrase from the judge made me think of another possible outcome. She asked why she can't buy an app from Amazon, which to me opens up the possibility of a Steam-like system that allows iOS apps to be sold from other stores (through serial keys perhaps?) and activated on the App Store, with Apple getting a reduced cut from those sales.
This is the judge's exact question:

 
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OP
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A subtle detail about this initial temporary order, is that Apple argument was based on whether the other Epic account was really just a shell company for Epic Games (which it is), the Judge decided to be cautious and ordered Apple to not ban their account, but assuming that the judge rules that Epic broke the rules and therefore Apple is in the right here, and Apple can prove that all of Epics other accounts are ultimately just shell companies, then I could see Unreal Engine still being effectively banned on iOS devices, at least there wouldn't be any legal argument keeping Apple from doing it.
the judge said it wasn't up for judgement if it was a shell company or not anyway because there are separate contracts and separate fees paid.


apple may continue to argue that in the injunction hearing but that seems like the wrong move cause the judge didn't really seem to care since apple made a separate contract with the company anyway.

Personally I'm more interested in the potential long term damage to their reputation and possible ramifications of that in regards to their Engine business.
Would you want to build your business on top of middleware whose provider is known for deliberately breaching contracts and having no qualms about putting their clients in danger and using them as hostages in legal fights that are about increasing their own profits?
i mentioned this before but most app makers almost certainly aren't opposed to what's happening right now and contrary to epic's claim no one was "fleeing unreal engine" cause that's not how development works, you don't completely change engines on a whim. app developers and publishers are losing patience with apple's shit but have no choice but to continue working with them as there's no other option. so there's some measure of relief that someone with money is doing something about this tempered by uncertainty about what will actually happen.
 
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Javetus

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You guys are putting too much thought into this, the judge played it safe (as its normal at this stage) but things can change a lot.

If it's a shell company it will matter but again, this stage is quick, from a superficial perspective there are two contracts so the judge has to protect the part that didn't break its contract.

If in the future Apple can prove it is indeed a shell company, it will pretty much affect Epic.

I wouldn't have much hope about it tho, same with the judge mentioning the store cuts. I know this situation is interesting and we will inspect anything the judge says but sadly, not everything will be important.
 
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i also wouldn't take to heart the outrageous sounding claims, statements, and arguments from either side throughout this case. remember that lawyers from both sides are being paid millions to make their client sound like the most harmed party in the known universe and no one has ever suffered such injustice and cruel treatment at the hands of epic/apple.

the judge is there to the balancing force in the middle of their nonsense. 😆
 

Copons

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Wrote a couple of very opinionated (hopefully not super offensive or controversial) words about this whole thing:



(lashman I realize I've shared a couple of posts from my own blog recently, and even if they are not monetized in any way, I'm not entirely sure of what rules Meta has for personal spam. Feel free to remove these links if they are inappropriate!)
 

lashman

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(@lashman I realize I've shared a couple of posts from my own blog recently, and even if they are not monetized in any way, I'm not entirely sure of what rules Meta has for personal spam. Feel free to remove these links if they are inappropriate!)
dunno why you're asking me specifically, but ...

 
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PC-Patriot

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dunno why you're asking me specifically, but ...
Did no one tell you ? You are the Gabe Newell of Metagaming,

Now on topic, when you think about everything Epic does it just comes across as a scummy, opportunistic bottom feeding parasite. Just look at it's attitude to PC gaming. Epic gave up on PC gaming, Steam didn't and helped the PC become the successful platform it is today. So Epic came back and went "right I want it all now". Apple spent decades perfecting the iphone, IOS and app store. I remember many people were going "wtf is Jobs smoking". Now it is a strong profitable market andddddddddd in comes Timmy going "I want it all",

I really think the judge should have been harder on Epic than she was but at the end of the day a Temporary Restraining Order is just that "temporary" so they can sort out the shit show that TImmeh "del boy" sweeney created.
 
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but the judge was hard on epic as far as this initial hearing goes? they didn't allow the most direct benefit of epic's request, fortnite being reinstated without changes and then specifically mentioned that epic can fix the issue themselves.

not sure what people expected from an initial hearing on something not directly related to the lawsuit in the first place. i doubt much will change next month. imo there's not really much evidence that epic can bring to convince the judge that anything other than a return to status quo is reasonable, which means if epic wants fortnite back up they'll need to remove that payment option.
 
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PC-Patriot

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the judge was hard on epic as far as this initial hearing goes. they didn't allow the most direct benefit of epic's request, fortnite being reinstated without changes and then specifically mentioned that epic can fix the issue themselves.
Been watching a lawyers youtube channel and apparently the judge did fuck up giving Epic a potential "out". Last paragraph of the restraining order was a copy and paste and whilst it is meant to refer to Epic International it refers to Epic games. Basically Epic could go "ok Apple we took the payment thing out can we put fortnite back on". Apple would have to comply with that (or they would look bad in the eyes of the court) and then as soon as it is back on the store Timmy could switch the payment back on and the way the restraining order has been worded there is nothing Apple could do about it because the restraining order which was meant to apply to Epic International actually refers to Epic games.


The guy covers it pretty well you don't have to watch the whole video just the bit at the end starting from 32mins. Obviously Apple could go back to the courts and complain but it is just the kind of bullshit game that Timmy likes to play. Like I said I think the Judge erred way too far on the side of caution with Epic games they have behaved like arseholes.
 
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apple themselves said they'd welcome fortnite back if it reverts the payment option, so i dunno if "forced to comply" would come into it.

"All of that alleged injury for which Epic improperly seeks emergency relief could disappear tomorrow if Epic cured its breach," the filing states. "Apple has offered Epic the opportunity to cure, to go back to the status quo before Epic installed its 'hotfix' that turned into its hot mess, and to be welcomed back into the App Store."

not to mention the judge already didn't agree with the "it passed code review" argument posed by epic's lawyer so i don't think that trick would work again.

in the end both companies stand to gain if fortnite returns to the app store so i don't see any reason for apple to go out of their way to keep it off if it is reverted to comply with the developer agreement.
 

PC-Patriot

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in the end both companies stand to gain if fortnite returns to the app store so i don't see any reason for apple to go out of their way to keep it off if it is reverted to comply with the developer agreement.
Honestly if you check out the last five mins of that video it will explain far better than I can why it would be dangerous for Apple to allow the fortnite game back on the store. However if they don't allow it back on the store they will come across as bad actors to the court
 
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i guess i just don't agree with him on this one, which is fine since we're all just imagining future scenarios and chain reactions in our head anyway lol.

the view i take is that the judge already wasn't swayed by the argument of "ue and fornite being removed was an integrated retaliation" so she sees the two as separate properties. plus she also sees that epic caused the fortnite removal themselves through their actions (and can easily fix it themselves so they don't need the court's help for that) and snuck in through the backdoor to make the change.

epic complying with their contract and then immediately doing the same thing the judge said was an issue in the first place would look far worse for epic than apple in the eyes of the judge, at least from what i heard yesterday. she didn't seem to be fooled by any of epic's talking around the issue.
 

Mutant Strawberry

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Personally I'm more interested in the potential long term damage to their reputation and possible ramifications of that in regards to their Engine business.
Would you want to build your business on top of middleware whose provider is known for deliberately breaching contracts and having no qualms about putting their clients in danger and using them as hostages in legal fights that are about increasing their own profits?
That verge article has some interesting comments from Devs who are ditching UE for Unity because they can't rely on them any more.

We’re some of those developers fleeing Unreal Engine. But I blame Epic much more than Apple for doing nothing to shield us from this, but putting our investment and future in the direct firing line — on purpose. That’s unacceptable, and we’re switching back to Unity on the current project, throwing away three months of work and starting over. We can’t have any risk whatsoever of not being cross-platform. A 1% chance of no iOS support in a few years, and we have to switch now.
I do deeply resent Apple’s 30% tax, and we’ve paid hundreds of thousands of dollars there. So I totally don’t mind that Epic is playing hardball with Apple and trying to tip the scale.
But putting Unreal Engine in the line of fire is like a pilot threatening to crash a plane. The trust is instantly shattered, so we’re done with Unreal Engine. I’m in the middle of porting C++ to C# and learning Unity all over again. Thank goodness we were only a few months into this project.
 

Swenhir

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That verge article has some interesting comments from Devs who are ditching UE for Unity because they can't rely on them any more.
Yep. That's pretty much the same engine suicide that Crytek commited when they sued CIG. Nobody will ever use CE in a contract with them anymore when they have set that precedent as a dangerous partner.
 
OP
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to be fair almost no one was using cry engine anyway so it wasn't a big change from normal for them. 😆
 
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OP
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i think the only cry engine game i put a lot of time into was archeage. while not the prettiest game ever it's still quite nice for an mmo and kinda shows the versatility of the engine there.
 
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ISee

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halfway surprised samsung hasn't piped up with a "you can play fortnite here!"
They don't need the extra two people willing to use the galaxy store. :confused-face:



From what I understand the judge stated that 30% could be too much, but that nobody would expect Apple to take zero percent either.
As Epic suggests by wanting their own iOS Epic store.

I wonder if this will in the end lead to a confirmation that 30% are too much, but that a platform or OS holder has the right to ask for a compensation for every sale on his OS.

Because you know Microsoft and Google would come kicking down the door to every store front there is out there, demanding their cut.
Beautiful back fire to Epic, but software prices on PC would increase and it would practically restrict windows.

I know, not a likely outcome. It just crossed my mind, while thinking about how stupid Tim Epic is for going through with his #FreeFortnite campaign after the judge told him that he was acting shitty (not the judge's words, but the meaning is pretty clear imo). The whole thing blowing up in Tim Epic's face wouldn't surprise me.
 
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today is the day epic games' (not epic intl) developer license is getting canned and apple decided to celebrate a bit on the app store. 😆 noticed this when i went to update some apps:



and yes lashman that is a rona pic for my appleid icon :p that tongue out pic always makes me smile
 
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