Apple: Epic Games ‘Fortnite’ lawsuit is just a marketing stunt

In a portion of Apple’s defense in the Epic Games lawsuit, the App Store owner accuses the Fortnite developer of filing the case as a publicity stunt.

Epic Games' Fortnite
Epic Games’ Fortnite

Ben Lovejoy for 9toMac:

The Verge spotted the claim in Apple’s 37-page opposition brief to the injunction sought by Epic, which would force Apple to restore Fortnite to the App Store until the outcome of the full trial.

For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite […]

If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational injury from this dispute, it would not be engaging in these elaborate efforts to publicize it. From all appearances (including the #freefortnite campaign), Epic thinks its conduct here will engender goodwill, boost its reputation, and drive users to Fortnite, not the opposite. That is not harm.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously. The game was dying because it was a passing fad (see: Pokemon) and Epic was on the slide down, desperate to boost their biggest moneymaker in whatever way possible. One dead giveaway: Epic’s big “protest” video (“1984” parody) was ready to go immediately.

23 Comments

  1. Not Apple’s problem, however it is time for Apple to curate their App store for quality and not just the total number of programs in the store.

    To many developers are starting to think Apple should guarantee them a position and a outcome.

      1. Maybe this will be an opener for eliminating ballpark concession stand monopolies. i think it’s ridiculous that I am forced to pay the exuberant prices for hotdogs and sodas every time I went to a game. How can stadium authorities and sports franchises can get away with this. How can they build these stadiums incur all those costs to build and maintain it, sell me tickets than force me to have to buy my food from them and not permit outside food and beverage. I guess I could choose not to go to the games and just watch it on tv you know similar to not selling my software on the Apple ios app store. If we are going to make the argument it needs to be made in all facets of our lives. The app store is a stadium and there is a cost to build and maintain it

        1. The owner of the ballpark decides what gets sold in the ball park.
          Apple does not own the device, they sold it.
          Apple does not dictate what gets sold in other ballparks.

          Why is this so difficult?

          1. Apple sold you a device that only comes with one app store with its own rules. You knew that when you bought it. If you don’t like it buy another phone, and if you don’t like that phone and think there are millions being disadvantaged by this situation, create and sell a phone that lets anyone post games for free. Aww! Nobody wants that but you and a few other self important whiners? Too bad for you.

      2. Apple owns their shelf space like any other store and doesn’t have to carry anything they don’t want to. They can also charge anything they like for that space. Totally free market. Except it’s not.

        The problem is they are the ONLY store in this case. Epic can’t just roll on down the road to Bob’s iOS Games. They either pony up the admittedly ridiculous 30%, on everything, or they don’t write software for iOS.

        Its almost like a protection racket. It makes you want to use the “M” word.

        Too bad. I was hoping the new Apple silicon, and the ability to develop apps once for all of Apple’s devices would entice more top tier game makers to Mac, but it looks like we’re going to be stuck with lackluster, dull, FisherPrice games on Apple’s devices. Apple isn’t truly interested in games though. When will I learn.

          1. You act as if Samsung et al haven’t been playing leapfrog with Apple for years. They know how to make decent hardware. The question is, can Apple stay focused? With the Mac they didn’t. With all the iPods, iPad Mini, they didn’t. Apple’s Airport died of neglect, not because there isn’t strong demand for a stable easy to use wireless hub.

            Apple hasn’t shown the ability to keep all its products up to date. Without question a more focused, hungrier company could build a better performing product at a lower price. It happens all the time. Give it another 10 years and we will be talking about Apple like we talk about Comcast. Just another utility wannabe in your pocket every month.

            Apple Silicon does nothing to change the obvious direction that Tim has taken Apple. Hardware and software, once clearly the best in class, has been sidelined in favor of subscription services that nobody actually needs.

            1. @ Danox: Apple fell behind Intel in delivering updated Macs.

              Apple’s tick-tock schedule for A chips is no faster than any other chip developer.

              Finally, since Apple outsources almost all manufacturing, it is still beholden to the capacity constraints of the chip foundries, many of which (Samsung, Huawei, etc) also market direct competition phones and tablets against Apple.

              It would do you good to make an honest assessment of the competitive landscape, especially in emerging markets, rather then mindlessly assuming Apple will always offer the best user experience or value. As many others have learned, Tim is more interested in extracting subscription revenue from you monthly, and skimming credit card transaction fees, and running monopolistic app stores, than it is keeping all its hardware and software best in class. Apple delivers few flavors of constrained hardware at very high prices, and its freebieware software, being a loss leader, doesn’t have anyone managing it for continuous improvement.

              Lastly, for the Apple lemming who tries to use all the different little touchscreen gadgets Apple sells, it’s hell trying to manage them. Things DO NOT just work. Apple very clearly tries to capture you in their walled gardens. That is a bad situation for those of us who collaborate with the majority of the world who doesn’t restrict himself to what is inside the Apple wall.

      3. Steve and his team created the first Apple Apps and the App Store marketplace launched roughly a year after the amazing touch screen revolutionary iPhone.

        To use an analogy, Apple built the pool and they are the lifeguards and maintenance. If you want to swim in their pool you have to follow the rules, pay the freight and not flaunt or dictate rules to the owner and violate signed licensing agreements, otherwise no swimming.

        The boogie man word “monopoly” — I have no problem with Apple creating the paradigm and tough if one game owner on the heels of popularity decline — after getting rich from the App Store no less, simply commonplace in pop culture everyday as tastes change now wants to rewrite the rules to shore up their profits?

        Quick search Apple has 2.2 million Apps in their store while Google Play has 2.8 million.

        “Android, however, still holds the largest share of the United States smartphone operating systems’ market and has done for many years.”

        — Statista

        Just not seeing a “monopoly” unless I’m missing something.

        To use another analogy, I have a very good friend who sells original oil paintings in top galleries on the East Coast and makes an extremely profitable living. Most well heeled galleries he deals with charge 50% commission per painting and you don’t fight it, you accept company terms or go swim somewhere else.

        Regarding the stadium vendor prices analogy (below), certainly uneven Apples to Oranges comparison. Different markets, different owners, different pricing structures and different processes for selecting vendors.

        At Lambeau Field (NFL Green Bay Packers), it’s $16.50 for four hot dogs and a tub of popcorn, and if you add two beers, it’s a total of $28.50. The Packers said they offer a variety of options for every price point or diet. Certainly not the same prices you would pay at Giants stadium outside NYC.

        Turning to MLB prices, interesting how they vary by market:

        https://blog.cheapism.com/mlb-hot-dog-beer-prices/

        If you don’t like exorbitant stadium food prices, don’t buy the food and you certainly cannot dictate your own price. Eat at a tailgate in the parking lot before the game, problem solved. Same as Epic Games cannot cannot dictate Apple’s terms and conditions.

        Bottom line: Nothing lawsuit by a desperate declining company. Throw it out and let’s move on…

        1. The Apple App Store is the only store where you can get iOS apps.

          There are technical and business hurdles in entering, or leaving iOS, thus it’s a distinct market on its own.

          Hence App Store monopoly.
          Apple doesn’t own 99% of the apps, it does not own the devices and thus are exerting unwarranted control over others property.

          I agree with them doing what they want in their own store, blocking other stores is anticompetitive.

          1. It’s even worse than this. An app developer gives its code to Apple for review. If it’s popular or profitable, Apple makes its own version of the app. Apple can set its price anywhere it wants, even at a loss — and it’s always 30% richer than the original developer. Then Apple has monopoly authority what apps it promotes and which ones it buries. Apple is responsible to no one for its app review moderation, and in fact can make or break an app’s sales by selectively enforcing app store rules.

            It’s good to be king.

            How quaint that the Tea Party asshats on this site can’t see the identical issues of 1770’s merchants & the British crown with Apple’s monopoly power over app developers. Their answer: don’t demand freedom, bow to King George or move to a non-English colony!!!!

            Tories.

            I do wonder what you will say when King Timmy gives the reins to a more flagrant despot, or when Microsoft merges with Apple. Will unchecked, undemocratic corporate power still be A-OK with you then?

          2. I have zero problem with Apple’s App Store with the minor exception their cut may be a bit high.

            They created the space that others copy and thousands of companies use just fine to get rich and don’t have a problem with their licensing terms.

            In the food business no company can demand their items be sold in Walmart or any other store. If they do get in they have to lower their prices to essentially pay for prime shelf space (eye level average).

            Whether AS is a monopoly or not is irrelevant to me it’s their store. They make the gold they make the rules.

            Get out of my pool…

          3. “I agree with them doing what they want in their own store, blocking other stores is anticompetitive.”

            I could be wrong, but it sounds like you’re trying to have it both ways?

            The Google Play Store has 600,000 more Apps than Apple and all Android phone sales numbers counted together dwarfs the iPhone market share.

            I don’t understand “blocking other stores.” Going back to my food products analogy companies cannot force their products into Walmart. Are you saying Epic Games should be allowed to force their own store within Apple’s Store?

            If you believe Apple can do anything with their store, sorry AC but it does not sound like it…

            1. I’m trying to have it my way. And why not? I own the gizmo.

              The developer owns their code, why can’t I have a direct relationship with the developer and they with me without involving Apple?

              Walmart can’t block Vlasic pickles from selling in Target, or any number of other stores. The Apple App store is the only place one can sell or buy iOS apps.

            2. “Walmart can’t block Vlasic pickles from selling in Target, or any number of other stores.”

              True. What’s your point?

              “The Apple App store is the only place one can sell or buy iOS apps.”

              True. Again, what’s your point?

              Apple built the pool and if you want to swim in it you obey the lifeguard…

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