*****As of posting this I have had it written for a while and there have been updates. In the next few days I’ll try to get those written up and posted ASAP*****
Welcome back to our gaming blogs everyone! Today we have some hot news in the gaming world. You see, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you may know of the huge news in the gaming world where Epic Games is taking on Apple and their app store, but beyond that what do you know about the whole deal? So that’s what we’re going to look at today.
As I write this, we are a few days into Season 4 of Chapter 2 of Fortnite and yet a large amount of the player base from the mobile gaming side of things is not able to play season 4 at all. Shortly before the end of Season 3, Epic Games took a HUGE step against the harsh business practices of Apple and Google both, though the first shot was fired mainly at Apple and Google just kinda played along. You see, when you as a developer want to place your game on mobile platforms from phones to tablets you mostly have only two options iPhones or Android phones. And in both cases, the App Store and the Google Play store both insist on taking 30% of whatever is purchased through their stores. The big problem is on Apple devices you have no other way of getting your programs on there other than through the App Store. On Android phones, there are at least workarounds and Epic has put out steps on how you can do this (HERE).
Now just speaking out on these practices is not enough to get Apple to just drop Fortnite. No instead, what Epic did was to make a way for people to pay Epic directly for any purchases in Fortnite and thus cut Apple out of the loop. While the millions they get from Epic purchases is a drop in the bucket for Apple, the fact that Epic dared to go around them is enough for a company like them to get extremely pissy and act out. Apple claims two things one that it’s for the safety of their users which honestly is a bit of bull because there are ways for companies to do payments without the Apple apps that work just fine and are just as secure. Another thing I have heard is that Epic has not been putting changes in the whats changed sections each week when they do updates, kind of ironic since so many people have been complaining about no patch notes but to me, this just sounds like a convenient excuse. Perhaps I am a bit biased since Epic has passed on the savings from not paying Apple to the gamers and I do tend to buy a few skins each month. The fact that Epic has also said they don’t want any damages in the lawsuits they have put against Apple but instead want all developers to be treated equally and be able to take payments in other ways that they may wish also makes me think that in the battle of huge megacorps Epic is more on the side of the angels than the Apple, though not everyone thinks this and that’s understandable. It’s hard to trust big corporations, but let’s look at what has happened on both sides and we’ll then let you decide who you stand with.
The first shot was fired by Epic as we said when they released the Epic Payment app so that people could purchase V-Bucks and such without going through Apple or Google stores. Apple then responded by announcing that Fortnite would no longer be on the App Store. Epic was obviously expecting this because while the world was first amazed that they now had 20% cheaper V-Bucks and then went into shock as Apple kicked them. Suddenly though Epic released a video that parodied the 1984 Apple ad that attacked IBM about them becoming a monopoly on home computers. In this case, though it was Fortnite breaking down the evil Apple Tycoon. Epic announced the hashtag #FreeFortnite and at the same time filed a lawsuit against Apple. All of this was within hours if not minutes of everything else happening. This couldn’t have all been done so fast if Epic hadn’t known what was going to happen to them. Google then followed Apple’s lead by removing Epic from the Google Play store but almost right away a lawsuit was filed against Google as well so again Epic was expecting this.
The big fight, however, has remained Epic vs Apple as word came out that Apple was going to stop all of Epics developer tools which means they wouldn’t be able to update any of the things, not just Fortnite. This meant that Epic would not be able to update the Unreal Engine to work with future updates to Apple iOS and Unreal Engine is a HUGE base that tons of developers use. Without Unreal Engine a ton of games would have to find some other base to develop their games on, this could destroy a bunch of Epic Games finances as all these other game studios would have to abandon ship so they could update their games. This would create a hardship on all the game studios that needed to do this. Now, of course, Apple wants to put the blame solely on Epic for this move and say that if they would just comply then Apple wouldn’t have to do this. But honestly, can Apple hold themselves blameless on this? I personally don’t think so.
Epic was quick to file a few motions to keep the developer access for Unreal Engine and also to try and keep Fortnite on iOS until all the court stuff was done. So far a judge has said that they should still be able to keep the Dev stuff for Unreal Engine for now but they have not gone so far as to stop Apple from deleting Fortnite from the app store. In fact, it’s now being reported that Fortnite and another game called Infinity Blade are both gone and if you’ve deleted them for some reason in the past you can no longer re-download them as Epics developer tools access for their games (NOT Unreal Engine) has been revoked by Apple. Fortnite has held a competition that allowed people to play together across devices one last time before Apple stopped things from updating. Many people got an evil apple tycoon skin for their accounts. People won computers and consoles as well, but it did nothing to get Apple to stop.
Now season 4 is here. We have a HUGE Marvel Comics crossover that’s bigger than any crossover in Fortnite history. I’m not sure what’s been happening between Epic and Google as everyone out there has been focusing on the fight against Apple. It’s too early to tell which way things will go right now but one thing is for sure…personally I’m with Epic on this. Things will be so much better for small companies if they are not stifled by a ridiculous 30% fee. If they can find better ways to keep more money then they can add better things to their games, pay the developing team better wages, and give you the player better rates on things as well.
Now as I’ve said I’m a bit biased on this. I have never liked how Apple does things. They make good products but honestly, they aren’t the end all be all of everything like so many want to make them out to be. I’ve used Apple…I have an iPad and I’ve had an iPod. These things tend to be way overpriced compared to similar things the problem is they are such a huge name that certain things I wanted for when I go to conventions only work on Apple or they work on Android but only select ones due to the fact that Android can be put on a ton more things. So Apple does have a bit of a monopoly on anything that goes on Apple products, they don’t share and they charge an arm, leg, and firstborn just to put wheels on a fricken desktop computer. I’m honestly surprised that Apple and Google both don’t fall under more scrutiny than what they seem to with how much of a stranglehold they have over the mobile phone business and how things are done in their app stores.
Personally, I’d like to see Apple taken down a notch and for the small developers to be thrown a bone where they can do things that would benefit themselves a little easier even if this means a megacorp has to win. I mean, it’s hard to pick sides usually in megacorp vs megacorp battles, but in my honest opinion when you look at the track record of Epic and Tim Sweeney and what they try to do vs the track record of Apple I end up having to side with Epic on this one. But I’d like to hear from you. So in the comments, let me know if you think Epic is doing the right thing here, or should they just fall in line with Apple’s demands? And please no trolling in the comments, if you post that Fortnite is dying or that Fortnite sucks I’m just going to delete your comment because it’s very obvious that the player base is just fine and while the game may not be for you there are millions of others who play it and enjoy it on a daily basis. We try to keep the hate and trolling low here and I’d appreciate it if you kept that type of toxicity to yourself, so please if you have a comment lets keep it on the subject and keep it civil.