Following the verdict in Apple’s lawsuit against Epic Games, the latter’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, said the verdict was not a “victory for developers or consumers” and added that he would continue to question Apple’s unfair policies. In a renewed attack on Apple, Sweeney called for a unique, universal App Store that will serve all platforms.
Epic and Apple fought a fierce legal battle last year over high commissions for in-app purchases. Epic Games has allowed the option of direct payment for Fortnite users. This resulted in the game being lifted from the Apple App Store, and Epic’s developer account was also terminated. Later, Google followed in Apple’s footsteps. The final verdict largely favored Apple and ordered Epic Games to pay the company $ 6 million in lost compensation. The game developer, meanwhile, paid and appealed the verdict, although Apple was given a deadline of Dec. 9 to allow developers to link to third-party payment options on the App Store.
At the Global Conference on Mobile Application Ecosystem Equity in Seoul, South Korea, Sweeney said
“What the world really needs is one store that works with all platforms. Currently, ownership of the software is shared between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play market, various stores on the Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, and then the Microsoft Store and Mac App Store. ”
Sweeney mentioned that Epic Games has brought together application developers and service providers to create a system that allows users to “buy software in one place, knowing they will have it on all devices and all platforms”. To recapitulate, Epic Games offers an Epic Games Store designed exclusively for PC gamers. Ironically, the store charges a commission, just like Apple.
“There is a store market, there is a payment market, and there are many other related markets. And it is crucial that antitrust enforcement does not allow monopolists in one market to use their control over that market to impose control over unrelated markets, ”Sweeney said.
Sweeney also praised South Korean legislation banning app stores from forcing developers to use proprietary payment methods. Google has outlined a compliance plan for this, but Apple has yet to make any changes. The CEO of Epic Games accused Apple of adhering to “oppressive foreign laws” while “ignoring the laws passed by Korean democracy.” “Apple has to stop,” he said.
Tim Sweeney’s proposal to move the world to use one App Store on all platforms is somewhat idealistic. As far as we know, this department store could become a monopolist itself! In addition, app stores have yet to explore sustainable monetization models that do not rely on in-app purchase commissions. If interpreted in the appropriate context, Sweeney’s proposal is an idea in the right direction. However, the possibility of having a universal App Store or a universal operating system is just a distant dream full of risks today.
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