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The Epic vs. Apple court case

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The Epic vs. Apple court case

Even if you're not a Fortnite fan, the Gamers' Trial of the Century is shaping up to be big gaming news. Only a week old, but lots has been revealed. Week 2 starts tomorrow. Here's a simplified recap of week 1

https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-f ... led-2021-5

Some interesting points:
-Epic not only tried to enlist Fortnite fans against Apple, they also recruited MS and Sony with favourable deals
-Despite apparently bleeding millions from the Epic Games Store, Epic makes Billions from their Free to Play game Fortnite
-Also despite this being an Epic v. Apple case, week 1 had Apple taking some potshots against Microsoft's business practices. It almost feels like a grudge match long in the making had finally happened

With all the dirt dug up against Epic and MS, I must admit I'm really curious to see what is coming against Sony now Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes

Comments, predictions or thoughts on which Billionaire company will best the other Billionaire company?
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Some interesting tidbits:

- Epic Games paid GearBox 130 million for 6 months of exclusivity on Borderlands 3 for PC on Epic Games store.
- Epic Games offered Sony $200 million for 5 games to be exclusive on Epic Game Store. A lowball offer considering how much money Epic paid GearBox for 6 months of Borderlands 3.
- Fortnite brought in profits of 9.1 billion combined in its first two years. 5.1 billion in 2020.
- Epic Game store is in the loss leader phase and is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
- Epic Game Store is unprofitable and Apple suggests the case should be thrown out because Epic is going to lose $331 million on buying exclusive games for Epic Game Store alone


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Last edited by XFactor11 on May 9th, 2021 10:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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XFactor11 wrote: Some interesting tidbits:

- Epic Games paid GearBox 130 million for 6 months of exclusivity on Borderlands 3 for PC on Epic Games store.
- Epic Games offered Sony $200 million for 5 games to be exclusive on Epic Game Store. A lowball offer considering how much money Epic paid GearBox for 6 months of Borderlands 3.
It's possible the deal fell through anyway according to this
https://www.videogameschronicle.com/new ... ion-ports/
I agree numbers-wise it doesn't add up, but it sounds like it was a $200 Million minimum guarantee. Borderlands is also more of a AAA-guaranteed seller than PlayStation exclusives would be, so they might have seen the single game as more valuable.
Maybe the offer is what ultimately pushed Sony to offer PC ports once again.
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Apple wants some of Microsoft's sweet, sweet confidential financial data

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/ ... -testimony

Part of the reason seems to be questioning the validity that Xbox consoles sell at a loss.

I don't know if there is much to prove there. It doesn't seem like Xbox hardware is priced appropriately to the component hardware, unless I'm missing something? Maybe an argument can be made that over time, they make a profit since the aged hardware might be worth less, I dunno? I'm also wondering if Apple isn't using this as an opportunity to get MS to reveal more private financial data.
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Multi-billion dollar company sues another multi-billion dollar company so that it can make more multi-billions of dollars.

As if we customers can't see through this lawsuit BS.

I want to say that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo must all be royally annoyed that Epic and Apple are dragging their confidential financials into this lawsuit BS, but we all know all these companies will continue to work together and make deals because, well, multi-billions of dollars.
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Some stuff already brought up elsewhere but I'll post it here.

https://www.pcgamer.com/sony-charges-for-crossplay-support-to-protect-psn-revenue-documents-show/

Sony charges developers and publishers to enable crossplay, and takes a cut of their profits based on how well or poor it does, to "protect PSN revenue". Couldn't find the link but Tim Sweeney also questioned its legality. Nintendo and MS do not charge for crossplay.
Sony's justification for the royalty payment seems to be its way of ensuring that if a ton of players are on its platform, it's going to see a proportional amount of revenue on PSN too, where it gets a 30% cut of in-game purchases.

If 20% of the total Rocket League playerbase were on the PS4, for example, but PlayStation players accounted for only 10% of the game's revenue (because players buy way more skins on PC, or something), Sony presumably thinks it's paying the PSN infrastructure costs for all those players but not getting the return it should for allowing cross-platform play. To "offset the reduction in revenue," the game publisher would owe Sony a royalty payment based on the gap between the PS4 playerbase and proportional PSN revenue.
Image

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-05-04-epic-boss-says-sony-charges-publishers-a-cross-play-fee-in-certain-circumstances#comments
"In certain circumstances Epic will have to pay additional revenue to Sony," Sweeney said, as reported by The Verge.

"If somebody were primarily playing on PlayStation, but paying on iPhone then this might trigger compensation."

The Verge also reports that Sony's policy stipulates publishers can't transfer virtual currency to or from PlayStation, and there must be a setting to disable all cross-platform interactions.

...

Sony: "Cross-platform play is not a slam dunk no matter the size of the title," Corsi responds. "As you know, many companies are exploring this idea and not a single one can explain how cross-console play improves the PlayStation business."
No mention of gamer satisfaction, or that users want to play with each other even if it's on a different console, just "Playstation business".

Most recent likely casualty is Borderlands 3 getting crossplay. But having it removed from PS. Looks like they may have said no to paying Sony off. More power to them. Sucks for the gamer though.

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Relevant to the outcome of the Epic v Apple lawsuit, and likely introduced because of it.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/05/sony-faces-lawsuit-over-alleged-monopoly-pricing-of-playstation-downloads/
Sony faces lawsuit over alleged “monopoly pricing” of PlayStation downloads

In Apple's opening statements in the Epic Games v. Apple trial on Monday, the company argued that "the law protects Apple's choice to have a closed system, just as it protects Sony and Nintendo." A new proposed class-action lawsuit against Sony's alleged monopoly control over the market for downloadable PlayStation games seems set to test that argument in the near future.

The lawsuit, filed in Northern California federal court (first reported on by Bloomberg News and obtained by Polygon), alleges that Sony's monopoly control over the PlayStation Store leads to "supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are... [priced] significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games."
Image

Basically, physical copies of games can be sold at any retail store and online. Sony banned the sale of digital game codes from 3rd parties, and consolidated all digital game sales through their own online portal. Nintendo, MS, and PC for example, you can buy digital game codes all over the place, in store and online. With regular sales, and competitive pricing. Since physical sales are dropping like a rock, Sony would directly be the only place to buy digital games, essentially a monopoly. From what's shown, prices remain higher, and with no competition for digital sales allowed, they dictate the price.

The outcome of the Epic v Apple lawsuit will likely influence what Sony will do. EU already classified Apple a monopoly, but the US is the US.
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That's a class action lawsuit which any group of people can file.
All Sony has to do is point to digital key resellers such as CDKeys.com which sells PS+ memberships and game codes online there.

Caerus wrote: Relevant to the outcome of the Epic v Apple lawsuit, and likely introduced because of it.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/05/sony-faces-lawsuit-over-alleged-monopoly-pricing-of-playstation-downloads/



Image

Basically, physical copies of games can be sold at any retail store and online. Sony banned the sale of digital game codes from 3rd parties, and consolidated all digital game sales through their own online portal. Nintendo, MS, and PC for example, you can buy digital game codes all over the place, in store and online. With regular sales, and competitive pricing. Since physical sales are dropping like a rock, Sony would directly be the only place to buy digital games, essentially a monopoly. From what's shown, prices remain higher, and with no competition for digital sales allowed, they dictate the price.

The outcome of the Epic v Apple lawsuit will likely influence what Sony will do. EU already classified Apple a monopoly, but the US is the US.
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XFactor11 wrote: That's a class action lawsuit which any group of people can file.
All Sony has to do is point to digital key resellers such as CDKeys.com which sells PS+ memberships and game codes online there.
That's different than being able to buy retail digital game codes from places like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. online and in store, and not use PSN. Sony banned that and forced all sales to go through PSN. CDKeys is just a reseller and doesn't escape that.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/25/18281538/sony-playstation-4-gamestop-stop-selling-game-download-codes-retailers
Sony has confirmed that it will indeed prevent retailers like GameStop from selling digital download codes for PlayStation 4 games starting April 1st, 2019. The news, first circulated late last week via a leaked memo obtained by popular game deals watcher Wario64, means that players who do not want to input credit card information into Sony’s PSN platform will no longer be able to buy digital versions of games from physical brick-and-mortar stores. Sony confirmed that it isn’t just GameStop being cut out of the download code business, but all retailers.

...

For new titles going forward and even for existing preorders, Sony is suggesting customers switch the preorder to a physical copy if they don’t want to buy it directly on PSN.
It essentially locks you into the PSN store for all purchases, which Sony controls. Just like Apple. It eliminates competition. It's great for Sony corporate if that's your thing, it's horrible for the gamer/consumer.
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Caerus wrote: Some stuff already brought up elsewhere but I'll post it here.

https://www.pcgamer.com/sony-charges-for-crossplay-support-to-protect-psn-revenue-documents-show/

Sony charges developers and publishers to enable crossplay, and takes a cut of their profits based on how well or poor it does, to "protect PSN revenue". Couldn't find the link but Tim Sweeney also questioned its legality. Nintendo and MS do not charge for crossplay.



Image

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2021-05-04-epic-boss-says-sony-charges-publishers-a-cross-play-fee-in-certain-circumstances#comments



No mention of gamer satisfaction, or that users want to play with each other even if it's on a different console, just "Playstation business".

Most recent likely casualty is Borderlands 3 getting crossplay. But having it removed from PS. Looks like they may have said no to paying Sony off. More power to them. Sucks for the gamer though.

LOL I don't know who takes child-porn peddler Randy at his word. He's posturing with that vague "Is this Sony's fault? Maybeeeeee..." tweet. It is just as likely pushback as you said. And if he was in Epic's shoes, he'd have done the same

Microsoft and Sony colluded with Epic to pull in profits and affect all gamers. And of course Apple has been profiting well with their own nefarious practices for a very long time.
Sadly, focusing on a Sony-specific issue misses the point of the whole case, which is ALL gamers are missing out in some way. A console by any company is a monopoly in itself. 'Friendlier' forms of the monopoly don't change reality. The closest open system is the PC, and even that has its gatekeeping measures
And as far as gamer satisfaction, one could then argue Sony's sales answered that question.
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BernardRyder wrote: LOL I don't know who takes child-porn peddler Randy at his word. He's posturing with that vague "Is this Sony's fault? Maybeeeeee..." tweet. It is just as likely pushback as you said. And if he was in Epic's shoes, he'd have done the same

Microsoft and Sony colluded with Epic to pull in profits and affect all gamers. And of course Apple has been profiting well with their own nefarious practices for a very long time.
Sadly, focusing on a Sony-specific issue misses the point of the whole case, which is ALL gamers are missing out in some way. A console by any company is a monopoly in itself. 'Friendlier' forms of the monopoly don't change reality. The closest open system is the PC, and even that has its gatekeeping measures
And as far as gamer satisfaction, one could then argue Sony's sales answered that question.
It's easy to just attack the messenger instead of addressing the issue. I get what you're saying, but diversion by just calling people names and then dismissing their statements seems to be a regular defense around here for things not pro Sony. Then you're also just projecting that if the shoe was on the other foot, they'd do the same. There's no basis for that either, other than your assumption. I'm not pro-Sony, pro-Microsoft, or whatever, I'm pro-consumer, anti-corporate as I'm pretty sure I've established. Seems some people around here though associate success for company as success for them/gamer.

https://www.polygon.com/22456489/borderlands-3-cross-play-update-ps4-ps5-sony
That means that cross-play will be limited to the other platforms on which Borderlands 3 is available: Mac, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

...

In the past, cross-play hold-ups have come from Sony. The company infamously delayed cross-play in games like Rocket League, and seems to push back against the system wherever possible. This issue recently came up in the Epic v. Apple trial, when Epic CEO Tim Sweeney revealed that his studio paid Sony to activate cross-play in Fortnite. According to Sweeney, Sony is the only platform holder that requires any kind of compensation for cross-play.
This being on Sony, while not 100% certain is a very good possibility, due to Sony's stance on crossplay, and their already established precedent that they wouldn't allow it for other titles without compensation. Mac and bloody Stadia are even included, but not Playstation.

Sales for Sony doesn't automatically equal gamer satisfaction. That's a very shallow stance to take. Just because Sony sells a lot of consoles doesn't mean in the slightest what they're doing is pro consumer, or gamer centric. It just means they're selling consoles. Nintendo is by far the market leader in sales right now, but some of the things they do are very anti consumer, anti gamer as well. Most recently that amibo thing with Skyward Sword.

I'm bringing about specific things that have come to light because of the lawsuit. It happens to be Sony centric because they're a dominant force in gaming and it was big news. One of the specific highlights early on in the case. This could have been listed by yourself or Xfactor, as I'm sure you both had seen it. We even discussed it prior to this thread being made.
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Caerus wrote: It's easy to just attack the messenger instead of addressing the issue. I get what you're saying, but diversion by just calling people names and then dismissing their statements seems to be a regular defense around here for things not pro Sony. Then you're also just projecting that if the shoe was on the other foot, they'd do the same. There's no basis for that either, other than your assumption. I'm not pro-Sony, pro-Microsoft, or whatever, I'm pro-consumer, anti-corporate as I'm pretty sure I've established. Seems some people around here though associate success for company as success for them/gamer.

https://www.polygon.com/22456489/borderlands-3-cross-play-update-ps4-ps5-sony



This being on Sony, while not 100% certain is a very good possibility, due to Sony's stance on crossplay, and their already established precedent that they wouldn't allow it for other titles without compensation. Mac and bloody Stadia are even included, but not Playstation.

Sales for Sony doesn't automatically equal gamer satisfaction. That's a very shallow stance to take. Just because Sony sells a lot of consoles doesn't mean in the slightest what they're doing is pro consumer, or gamer centric. It just means they're selling consoles. Nintendo is by far the market leader in sales right now, but some of the things they do are very anti consumer, anti gamer as well. Most recently that amibo thing with Skyward Sword.

I'm bringing about specific things that have come to light because of the lawsuit. It happens to be Sony centric because they're a dominant force in gaming and it was big news. One of the specific highlights early on in the case. This could have been listed by yourself or Xfactor, as I'm sure you both had seen it. We even discussed it prior to this thread being made.
And that's fine, if you must. Still makes me a bit sad you would be another person to brush me off as some Sony fanboy. I will say your article choices do come off thinly, almost a bit of a one-trick pony that can only dredge up certain things. But I still won't accuse you of fanboyism in any case
For my part, there was plenty of Microsoft behaviour leading up to today that seems to be conveniently set aside to post this "fun" Sony stuff. I let the thread lie dormant because it didn't seem to be going anywhere. When I did post I was sure to post carefully, lest the usual chorus of knee-jerk RFDers who like to accuse people of being a Sony fanboy start to complain or drop weird accusations.

The thread's intent was to fuel general discussion, not to divert, call out, or take sides. But as for calling out, the facts speak for Mr. Pitchford in any case, as he does his talking through his well documented behaviours, including ripping off his employees. He's not cool in my books, much like you have a hate for Jack Tretton.

But if it makes a subset feel good to aim at a specific manufacturer here, then by all means, keep the thread going. I just saw the trial for the sad reality it was - collusion against gamers from all parties involved.
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BernardRyder wrote: And that's fine, if you must. Still makes me a bit sad you would be another person to brush me off as some Sony fanboy. I will say your article choices do come off thinly, almost a bit of a one-trick pony that can only dredge up certain things. But I still won't accuse you of fanboyism in any case
For my part, there was plenty of Microsoft behaviour leading up to today that seems to be conveniently set aside to post this "fun" Sony stuff. I let the thread lie dormant because it didn't seem to be going anywhere. When I did post I was sure to post carefully, lest the usual chorus of knee-jerk RFDers who like to accuse people of being a Sony fanboy start to complain or drop weird accusations.

The thread's intent was to fuel general discussion, not to divert, call out, or take sides. But as for calling out, the facts speak for Mr. Pitchford in any case, as he does his talking through his well documented behaviours, including ripping off his employees. He's not cool in my books, much like you have a hate for Jack Tretton.

But if it makes a subset feel good to aim at a specific manufacturer here, then by all means, keep the thread going. I just saw the trial for the sad reality it was - collusion against gamers from all parties involved.
I didn't call you, or dismiss you as a Sony fanboy. I know your leanings, but I also don't place you in that category. We just have disagreements and that's what I was getting at. It's what Pitchford said, I know he's a POS, but the statement is what's telling. What I disagreed with was your focus on his person, and situational projections, rather than the information shown. Also the fact we had already had a bit of a discussion about this prior in the other thread, but there was no mention of this issue here.

I didn't mind Jack Tretton, or Shawn Layden by the way. For the most part, I really liked the way Shawn Layden ran Playstation. He did some exceptionally good things. It's the current leadership of Jim Ryan I don't approve of.

If I seem overly critical of Sony, it's because of the very public anti-consumer actions they continue to take. Even being in the spotlight about these things, they continue to carry on doing them blatantly. Their actions remind me of Microsoft during the internet explorer era. Of course I'm not saying MS and Nintendo are innocent of these types of things either. Sony's just most publicly at the forefront at the moment, and through recent actions continue to do so without a care.
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Caerus wrote: I didn't call you, or dismiss you as a Sony fanboy. I know your leanings, but I also don't place you in that category. We just have disagreements and that's what I was getting at. It's what Pitchford said, I know he's a POS, but the statement is what's telling. What I disagreed with was your focus on his person, and situational projections, rather than the information shown. Also the fact we had already had a bit of a discussion about this prior in the other thread, but there was no mention of this issue here.

I didn't mind Jack Tretton, or Shawn Layden by the way. For the most part, I really liked the way Shawn Layden ran Playstation. He did some exceptionally good things. It's the current leadership of Jim Ryan I don't approve of.

If I seem overly critical of Sony, it's because of the very public anti-consumer actions they continue to take. Even being in the spotlight about these things, they continue to carry on doing them blatantly. Their actions remind me of Microsoft during the internet explorer era. Of course I'm not saying MS and Nintendo are innocent of these types of things either. Sony's just most publicly at the forefront at the moment, and through recent actions continue to do so without a care.
My mistake, Jim Ryan, so different Sony guy but same feelings. Randy's aggressive alpha-male stancing makes him less palatable to me. Ryan acts more like a typical corporate boob, so as unsavory as he is, corporate types are more easy to corral than a Bro-Exec. But a digress.

Also my apologies as my responses seem to be missing the mark. My issues are more what feels like Post Hammering on a specific position. I get you find it appropriate here, but I don't quite agree to the extent, or that it will lead to the discussion we are both apparently seeking. It also feels like this much specific info belongs in the Debate Thread. And as much as I hear your argument that this came up before, it didn't come up here, so it feels a bit out of place to my original intent.
But I don't run the Internets, and good conversation is organic, not dictated. I'm just pointing out my concerns. Maybe your choice is the best choice and method for the discussion, and it has to run its course before I see that it was valuable. I'll be very glad to admit it if so.
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Actually they both lost(which is the outcome I wanted), Epic actually lost more and Apple actually declared this a win as they stood to lose a lot more if they were declared as antitrust monopolists. Epic has to pay Apple back the 30% of in-game sales from iOS users during the period they violated their agreement with Apple, and Fortnite is still ejected from iOS and can remain that way legally.

To the point that it will be Epic appealing the decision.
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Apple only has to allow apps to link to an external payment alternative. They don't have to host it or open up their network to third party payment processors. Most people will not choose to subscribe out of the Apple ecosystem because of its simplicity and convenience. They can also choose to keep Epic out of the App store entirely and avoided antitrust attachment which would have been damning legal precedent in future cases. This is only really a win for indie app devs who already got huge concessions as a result of the case. Apple takes a minor knock on the chin, Epic loses almost entirely and will need to lobby Apple to get back onto the store.

Actually I forgot the biggest winners as always - the lawyers.

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