Sunday, July 21, 2024

Epic Accuses Apple of Blocking Epic Games Store Launch

Europe is now the scene of a new front in the continuing conflict between computer behemoth Apple and developer of the hit game Fortnite, Epic Games. The European release of Epic Games Store, an app for iPhones and iPads, has been purposefully delayed, according to Epic, by Apple.

Allegations Made by Epic

Epic launched a public outcry on July 5, 2024, using the social media network X, which was once Twitter. They stated that their software submissions for the Epic Games Store were twice denied by Apple. Epic claimed that a small detail in the design of some buttons and labels was the cause of the rejection.

According to reports, Apple said that Epic’s app’s “Install” button and “In-app purchases” label were too similar to those seen on the App Store. Epic retaliated by claiming that they were adhering to accepted industry practices for button name and design that are standard across diverse platform app marketplaces.

Apple’s actions, according to Epic, are “arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation” of European law. The continuing discussion about Apple’s stringent control over the iOS app market is heightened by this charge. Apple’s business policies have been a source of criticism for app developers and antitrust regulators for a long time, as they believe they hinder competition and innovation.

The Reaction of Apple and Their Final Acceptance

Fascinatingly, Apple declared that the Epic Games Store app has been cleared for use on iPhones and iPads in Europe precisely one day after Epic made public claims. This development shows that Apple’s decision might have been influenced by Epic’s initiative to raise awareness of the problem.

But Apple emphasised that the allowed software was the “Epic Sweden AB Marketplace” and had nothing to do with the Fortnite game, which was already playable on the software Store. According to this distinction, Apple may still be reluctant to permit a legitimate rival to operate within the iOS ecosystem and compete with its App Store.

App Store Fees and Control: The Fundamental Conflict

Apple’s App Store regulations are the crux of the conflict. Apple mandates that for all digital transactions within their apps, developers must use their in-app purchase mechanism. The commission this system charges for each transaction is quite high, usually between 15% and 30%.

Epic strongly disagrees with this approach, claiming that it unfairly stifles competition and drives up consumer costs. In order to avoid Apple’s expenses, Epic even introduced a covert payment method within Fortnite. This particular problem triggered a court struggle between the two businesses in the US in 2020. It is still pending the ensuing lawsuit.

Examining Apple’s App Store policies has also been the European Union. With a particular focus on Apple’s in-app purchase system’s required use and limitations on third-party app distribution methods, the EU opened an antitrust probe into the company in 2021.

A Different Playing Field: The European Angle?

Perhaps in anticipation of the EU’s antitrust investigation’s conclusion, Apple eventually approved the Epic Games Store app in Europe. Apple may be forced by European legislation to relax its control over the iOS app market, thereby fostering more competition and possibly resulting in reduced developer fees.

For Epic Games and other software developers who have long complained about Apple’s dominance, this would be a huge victory. The Epic Games Store’s functionality and reach on iOS devices may still be restricted by Apple, it’s crucial to remember that.

The Apple vs. Epic Fight of the Future

Epic Games vs. Apple is still very much an ongoing war. The EU’s antitrust inquiry is still underway, as is the US legal battle. Not only in Europe but possibly globally as well, how these events turn out will have a big impact on how apps are distributed in the future on iOS devices.

Listed below are a few possible future situations:

Apple relaxes regulations

Should legal and regulatory demands increase, Apple may be obliged to relieve some of its limitations on the App Store. The usage of third-party payment methods, reduced developer fees, and possibly even the launch of competing app stores for iOS devices could result from this.

Epic Games Store faces limitations

Apple may discover a method to limit the functioning of the Epic Games Store on iOS, even with their approval. Potential future rejections based on technicality could also be a version of this, as could restrictions on discoverability and in-app functionality.

Things continue as they are

It’s also likely that Apple is able to keep a good amount of control over its App Store. The fundamental framework, which includes limitations on third-party app stores and a required in-app purchase system, might not change much, despite some little adjustments.

It will be important to see how this conflict plays out in the upcoming months and years. Users’ access to and payment methods for apps on their iPhones and iPads may change as a result, which might have a significant impact on the whole app development market.

Recap: A Conflict with Broader Consequences

Game titles and app stores are not the only issues at stake in Epic Games’ conflict with Apple. It is a conflict about dominance, rivalry, and the direction of internet markets. For developers, customers, and the tech sector at large, the resolution of this conflict will have far-reaching effects.

Gowri Priya
Gowri Priya
Gowri Priya has been writing Mobiles Related articles for govindhtech from Aug 2023. She was a Commerce graduate. She was an enthusiast of Mobiles and Their Technologies.
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