The court presiding over the Epic v Apple lawsuit filed two injunctions today, with judgements on the high-profile lawsuit. Unless you were one of the radicalized believing either side had a moral high ground, the judgement probably worked out for you.
The first injunction, as the Verge reports, finds that Apple would have to allow external payments on its app store. Some would call this Epic’s great win, if it weren’t for the fact that other companies had already won that battle for them, including the South Korean government.
Make no mistake, however, this is still a big loss to Apple- with this ruling, you could, if miHoYo wished; for example, buy primogems from their own website for Genshin Impact, and since they wouldn’t have to factor in the 30% cut they could theoretically adjust the prices accordingly. An example for this would be Warframe- whereby you buy its premium currency, Platinum, on the Warframe website. As a result of this, the game constantly gives discount vouchers on the currency, up to 75% off.
Not Always Black And White
However, calling this Epic’s win is also premature. As Jason Schreier points out, they had set out with very specific goals– one, to get Apple labeled as an anti-competitive monopoly, which the judgement specifically denies.
“The Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions”, the conclusion reads.
The second, was that Fortnite’s subsequent removal from the app store was unlawful- the game was removed following Epic Games decision to break the App Store TOS by trying to include an alternate storefront to bypass Apple’s cut, which Epic Games was then shown to have already tried asking Apple for special permission to bypass.
It also highlighted what many had been saying since this whole incident kicked off- that Epic’s original plan to just instate the alternate storefront anyways was out of line, and the removal of Fortnite from the App store was well within Apple’s rights as a platform holder.
“As a major player in the wider video gaming industry, Epic Games brought this lawsuit to challenge Apple’s Control over access to a considerable portion of this submarket for mobile gaming transactions. Ultimately, Epic Games overreached”, it says.
“So Epic lost on just about every count & will have to pay millions, while Apple now has to let apps use external payment processors, potentially costing them billions”, Schreier summarizes.
“Big win for everyone who was rooting for both companies to lose”, he notes.
“Epic wanted the judge to declare Apple a monopoly and force it to lower fees below 30%, neither of which happened. The judge also ruled that Epic violated Apple’s terms and did not rule that Fortnite must be reinstated to the App Store. This was a big loss for Epic“.
As Schreier notes, this isn’t a good look for Epic, considering they’d lost one of their platforms, likely for good. That being said, as The Verge reports, Apple wasn’t the largest source of revenue for Fortnite.
Meanwhile, Apple has lost some control of its app store- and the effects of this is something we’re bound to see for years to come. That being said, it wasn’t really Epic’s doing, considering the independent Class Action lawsuit and South Korean government beat the court to the punch.
That being said, if you’re not a fanboy of mega corporations, this trial basically worked out in your favor. If you’re an independent app developer, you can now conduct business without having to factor in Apple’s 30% cut. If you for any reason didn’t like Epic Games, you got to watch the #FreeFortnite campaign basically fail its eponymous task.