When Epic Games blasted Google last year over its revenue cut for Play Store apps, its CEO Tim Sweeney pretty much conceded that Apple deserved its 30% share because of the work it puts into its App Store. The events of the past few days, however, suggests that Epic Games may have actually had a different opinion as it set off a sequence of events that now includes not one but two lawsuits. Epic, however, isn’t content to stop there and the two’s bickering is already going beyond legal, technical, or even financial grounds.
Epic Games definitely knew what it was getting into, having prepared legal papers for a lawsuit and a video parody just as it rolled out the server-side change that opened this can of worms. It was also probably expecting Apple’s subsequent responses, which has now included a supposed threat to revoke Epic Games’ developer access to iOS and Mac tools should it persist with is misbehavior. Of course, Epic Games filed a preliminary injunction seeking to stop Apple from putting that into effect.
Now Epic Games is reportedly trying to turn the tide of public opinion by rallying critics of Apple’s App Store practices and form a coalition. There is definitely no shortage of developers who have voiced their disagreement with those policies, ranging from the notorious revenue split to sudden changes in policies to favor Apple’s own products and stances. Unfortunately for Epic Games, not all of those may be as willing to go public as it was.
Spotify, who has long at odds with Apple’s App Store policies long before Epic Games, only voiced their support but has reportedly not signed up for the said coalition. There are others like F.lux, the developers that deserve credit for all the Night Shift implementations you see in phones and computers, also recounted an unrelated but almost similar ordeal with Apple but may be small fry compared to the companies that Epic Games may want to join its army.
For its part, Apple says that the solution to the problem that Epic Games created for itself is simple: just revert the problematic changes it made that bypassed Apple’s App Store payment system. It definitely won’t back down from a fight and give Epic Games special treatment, even as it admits that it is one of its most successful developers. It remains to be seen if future actions against Epic Games will also affect any app or game that uses the developer’s Unreal Engine.