26 votes

Epic offers new direct payment in Fortnite on iOS and Android to get around app store fees, and is removed from both stores

31 comments

  1. brews_hairy_cats
    Link
    One tub of popcorn isn't enough. This PR stunt has me considering supporting Epic, despite being on the anti-EGS bandwagon. It's so funny they had this sixty page legal complaint ready the literal...

    One tub of popcorn isn't enough. This PR stunt has me considering supporting Epic, despite being on the anti-EGS bandwagon. It's so funny they had this sixty page legal complaint ready the literal minute Apple removed them.

    13 votes
  2. [2]
    Deimos
    Link
    Fortnite has now been removed from the Google Play store as well.
    12 votes
    1. Crestwave
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Epic has sued them as well now, and I find their case interesting. Apparently they struck a deal with some device manufacturers to preinstall their store but Google intervened; thus, they have no...

      Epic has sued them as well now, and I find their case interesting. Apparently they struck a deal with some device manufacturers to preinstall their store but Google intervened; thus, they have no way of automatically updating their games in the background since they need privileges to do so. As an F-Droid user, this is an inconvenience, although I haven't thought much of it before.

      7 votes
  3. Shahriar
    Link
    I think a relevant piece is European Commission opening an antitrust investigation into Apple's App Store rules earlier in June. These investigations and similar lawsuits may ultimately result in...

    I think a relevant piece is European Commission opening an antitrust investigation into Apple's App Store rules earlier in June.

    These investigations and similar lawsuits may ultimately result in regulation against the App Store or Apple appeasing regulators by conceding and self-regulating to issues brought up.

    9 votes
  4. [25]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Epic once again tries to get around the 30% App Tax, let's see how it plays out this time...

    Epic once again tries to get around the 30% App Tax, let's see how it plays out this time...

    7 votes
    1. [24]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      Apple has now removed Fortnite from the App Store in retaliation. (Maybe I should update the link to that one?)

      Apple has now removed Fortnite from the App Store in retaliation. (Maybe I should update the link to that one?)

      9 votes
      1. [22]
        Deimos
        Link Parent
        Actually this is getting really interesting really quickly, Epic was completely ready for this: They're premiering a new short in the game in 20 minutes, named "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite" that...

        Actually this is getting really interesting really quickly, Epic was completely ready for this:

        14 votes
        1. [6]
          rkcr
          Link Parent
          Here's the short Epic prepared to go to war over this.

          Here's the short

          Epic prepared to go to war over this.

          9 votes
          1. [5]
            psi
            Link Parent
            I sympathize more with Epic than Apple here, but I can't be the only one who rolled their eyes while watching this short. Considering the rise of jingoist-inspired authoritarianism throughout the...

            I sympathize more with Epic than Apple here, but I can't be the only one who rolled their eyes while watching this short. Considering the rise of jingoist-inspired authoritarianism throughout the world, equating Apple demanding their 30% cut to 1984 is rather ridiculous. Frankly the advert demeans those living under actual 1984-like conditions.

            12 votes
            1. [4]
              brews_hairy_cats
              Link Parent
              I wouldn't read that much into it. It's a simple parody of Apple's 1984 ad, playing off the irony that Apple was once the underdog and has now switched to the opposite role.

              I wouldn't read that much into it. It's a simple parody of Apple's 1984 ad, playing off the irony that Apple was once the underdog and has now switched to the opposite role.

              15 votes
              1. psi
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                I'm aware of the original ad, but I disagree that it's merely parody. Epic's intentionally fomenting outrage. The original ad compels people to be different; Epic's "parody" compels people to be...

                I'm aware of the original ad, but I disagree that it's merely parody. Epic's intentionally fomenting outrage. The original ad compels people to be different; Epic's "parody" compels people to be angry, those people being mostly teenage Fortnite players. Young people have a great deal to be angry about, and obviously they have the right to choose what matters to them, but they shouldn't be the standard-bearers for a battle between billion-dollar corporations.

                10 votes
              2. [2]
                hamstergeddon
                Link Parent
                If not for the text at the end, I'd agree with you. I mean, yeah it's obviously a parody, but then they straight up compare Apple's practices to "1984"

                If not for the text at the end, I'd agree with you. I mean, yeah it's obviously a parody, but then they straight up compare Apple's practices to "1984"

                Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming "1984"

                3 votes
                1. Deimos
                  Link Parent
                  The original ad made that comparison, it ends with this text:

                  The original ad made that comparison, it ends with this text:

                  On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh.
                  And you'll see why 1984 won't be like "1984".

                  9 votes
        2. [8]
          AlexMax
          Link Parent
          This is actually really cool of Epic. I have long loathed how iOS doesn't allow side-loading, so if Epic manages to get Apple to break open their walled garden, that would undoubtedly be a win....

          This is actually really cool of Epic. I have long loathed how iOS doesn't allow side-loading, so if Epic manages to get Apple to break open their walled garden, that would undoubtedly be a win.

          That said, Apple doesn't seem the kind of company to give up their paternalistic control over the devices they sell without a fight. If anything, I suspect they'll merely start heavily advertising alternative Battle Royale games in their store, and otherwise maintain radio silence.

          8 votes
          1. [7]
            Moonchild
            Link Parent
            It does.

            I have long loathed how iOS doesn't allow side-loading

            It does.

            1 vote
            1. [6]
              Deimos
              Link Parent
              That's an exploit though, it's not something iOS allows natively. Android specifically supports installing APKs from outside the app store, iOS actively tries to prevent it.

              That's an exploit though, it's not something iOS allows natively. Android specifically supports installing APKs from outside the app store, iOS actively tries to prevent it.

              7 votes
              1. [2]
                cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                As @Moonchild said, AFAIK Cydia Impactor is technically not using any exploits; It uses the exact same protocol as Xcode (the official Apple dev IDE) to sideload apps, which is why it also...

                As @Moonchild said, AFAIK Cydia Impactor is technically not using any exploits; It uses the exact same protocol as Xcode (the official Apple dev IDE) to sideload apps, which is why it also requires iTunes to be installed and the user to have an apple dev account in order to work. The only difference between them is Impactor is an unlicensed/unofficial program which can also run on Windows, and it automatically renews the sideloaded apps certs (which would normally expire every 7 days with a free apple dev account, or every 12 months with a paid one) every time you connect your phone to your computer. Whereas Xcode is official but macOS only, and requires you to manually renew the certs.

                Unlike Android, it is true that there is no "native" way to sideload apps on iOS via the device itself without jailbreaking though.

                2 votes
                1. Moonchild
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  FWIW it only requires that on windows and mac; it works fine without on linux.

                  which is why it also requires iTunes to be installed and the user to have an apple dev account in order to work

                  FWIW it only requires that on windows and mac; it works fine without on linux.

                  4 votes
              2. [3]
                Moonchild
                Link Parent
                It's not an exploit. It uses the same protocol as xcode does for app development.

                It's not an exploit. It uses the same protocol as xcode does for app development.

                1 vote
                1. [2]
                  Akir
                  Link Parent
                  You're right, it's not an exploit, but it only runs on iDevices that have been jailbroken, which by definition requires users to use a known exploit. Exploits which Apple regularly takes measures...

                  You're right, it's not an exploit, but it only runs on iDevices that have been jailbroken, which by definition requires users to use a known exploit. Exploits which Apple regularly takes measures to defeat.

                  I'm no legal expert, but jailbraking iPhones may or may not be illegal in the US under the terms of the DMCA.

                  1. Moonchild
                    Link Parent
                    It works on all idevices, not just jailbroken ones. (You may be thinking of cydia, which is an on-device alternate app store, and which does require a jailbreak.)

                    It works on all idevices, not just jailbroken ones.

                    (You may be thinking of cydia, which is an on-device alternate app store, and which does require a jailbreak.)

                    3 votes
        3. [2]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          Wow, they're actually trying to completely break open their walled garden. I'm glad they are doing this since the people who should be doing this are clearly uninterested in the public welfare, at...

          Wow, they're actually trying to completely break open their walled garden. I'm glad they are doing this since the people who should be doing this are clearly uninterested in the public welfare, at least when it comes to monopolistic practices.

          This actually changed my mind about them to a certain degree. Before this, I was just kind of irritated at Epic being unwilling to pay the piper because it seems rent-seeking.

          5 votes
          1. Shahriar
            Link Parent
            This is true. Judging with how Epic is portraying it with their short, they're trying to also spin it as a positive PR piece. In reality they just want to increase their margins - albeit...

            Wow, they're actually trying to completely break open their walled garden. I'm glad they are doing this since the people who should be doing this are clearly uninterested in the public welfare, at least when it comes to monopolistic practices.

            This is true. Judging with how Epic is portraying it with their short, they're trying to also spin it as a positive PR piece. In reality they just want to increase their margins - albeit rightfully so, 30% "Apple tax" (and Google) on in-app purchases is massive.

            6 votes
        4. [4]
          TheJorro
          Link Parent
          Wow. Now I'm wondering what animated short they have prepped for Google if they took Fortnite off the Play Store.

          Wow. Now I'm wondering what animated short they have prepped for Google if they took Fortnite off the Play Store.

          4 votes
          1. [3]
            tesseractcat
            Link Parent
            You can easily sideload apps on android, so I don't think they'd have as strong of a case. In fact fortnite is already available through their website as a side-loadable app.

            You can easily sideload apps on android, so I don't think they'd have as strong of a case. In fact fortnite is already available through their website as a side-loadable app.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              TheJorro
              Link Parent
              Well, sure, but I was wondering what Google specific animated short they would have had prepped since they had an Apple specific one.

              Well, sure, but I was wondering what Google specific animated short they would have had prepped since they had an Apple specific one.

              3 votes
              1. Deimos
                Link Parent
                I linked this in a separate top-level comment too, but Google's removed them now too, so I guess we'll see if they have a separate response ready for that, or if they were mainly aiming at Apple.

                I linked this in a separate top-level comment too, but Google's removed them now too, so I guess we'll see if they have a separate response ready for that, or if they were mainly aiming at Apple.

                7 votes
        5. Shahriar
          Link Parent
          This is quickly turning into something bigger. I wonder where the lawsuit legally stands in the anti-competitive eyes of the law.

          This is quickly turning into something bigger. I wonder where the lawsuit legally stands in the anti-competitive eyes of the law.

          3 votes
      2. moocow1452
        Link Parent
        Go for it, it's an evolving story.

        Go for it, it's an evolving story.

        1 vote
  5. [2]
    moocow1452
    Link
    Latest from The Verge: Epic judge will protect Unreal Engine — but not Fortnite. https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/25/21400240/epic-apple-ruling-unreal-engine-fortnite-temporary-restraining-order

    Latest from The Verge: Epic judge will protect Unreal Engine — but not Fortnite.
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/25/21400240/epic-apple-ruling-unreal-engine-fortnite-temporary-restraining-order

    6 votes
    1. psi
      Link Parent
      "Protect" is doing a bunch of work in that sentence, so it's worth explaining exactly what it means (caveat: not a lawyer, just a casual interest in the law). In this instance, the judge has...

      "Protect" is doing a bunch of work in that sentence, so it's worth explaining exactly what it means (caveat: not a lawyer, just a casual interest in the law).

      In this instance, the judge has granted a preliminary injunction, which basically means it's a temporary ruling while the case is still being tried. Preliminary injunctions are evaluated based on the following criteria:

      1. the risk of irreparable harm and
      2. the likelihood to succeed on the merits.

      Regarding the Unreal Engine (UE), Apple cutting-off third-party developers's access to UE clearly hurts those developers (imagine spending two years on an app and suddenly being unable to release it), meeting the conditions for (1); condition (2) is less obvious, but evidently the judge has sided with Epic here, so I'll let that speak for itself.

      Regarding Fortnite, Epic has a much weaker claim for (1), hence the judge's decision. Epic's harm here is self-inflicted, having unilaterally broken the terms of agreement for the App Store. In fact, the harm is reversible, since Epic could simply undo the change that resulted in them being banned in the first place (as the judge notes).

      6 votes