Epic v. Apple

No Place For Heroes


Brandon Ramirez / El Paisano Media

A really good way to gauge interest in these big intellectual properties while also get a feel for numbers is by looking at Twitch. Each of the games listed are cross platform, and allow for crossplay. And, they only represent views streams of these games were getting, but they’re really telling when considering how popular they are worldwide. With such large reach it’s not surprising Sony pushed Epic for Fortnite.

Open Secrets

All bets are off. The open secrets of the games industry that were brought up in the loot box hearings continue to be dredged up in the Epic v. Apple case. The suit was based around Apple charging commission for use of the App Store, and Epic Games trying to get around it. When the lawsuit first came to light a lot of people were immediately taking a side. But it wasn’t just based around who was in the right. A lot of the reaction was based on interpreting what company was more immoral. And I think this is really telling in regards to what this suit means to consumers. 

The gaming community has always been very wary of mobile gaming. It’s where loot boxes come from, as well as profit focused game design. It’s a problem that presents itself in different concerns. Issues with games developers making less consumer focused decisions, worry about problem gamers and gambling addiction, and fears about how this affects children. Aside from that gamers have also often been critical of intercompany relations. Especially recently, with the wide-spread adaptation of cross platform play. The days of console wars aren’t exactly gone, but now even casual gamers are aware of developers and their track records. 

More of the Same

But why, if at all, does this matter? Well, it’s because it colors where consumers stand in this suit. Morality, the lesser of two evils, and weird economics are all factors in determining where you stand. But no matter where you do, as a consumer you’ll still have those aforementioned concerns. If Fortnite wins and gets put back on the App Store, odds are you’ll be worried about how easily kids can access loot boxes in what is the most popular game in the world. If they lose? So to do all the indie devs without the cash to back a major suit against the juggernaut that is Apple. 

Without even getting to the end though some of the questionable intercompany practices have already been brought to light. Something that really stood out to me was how Sony charges Epic to allow for cross platform play. If it were, say, EA, this revelation might’ve not been as impactful. But, because Epic is bleeding so much money that they aren’t projected to make profit really until 2023, I’m inclined to be more endeared to them. And like I said, this is telling. Epic, even if as consumers we resent it, has more or less become the poster child for underdogs in the games industry. And, I’d reckon that it’s not just because it’s easy to hate Apple, but because of the mostly transparent intentions of Epic. Regardless, at the end of the day, I am hoping Epic wins.