Everything that has been revealed in the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit
We’re learning a lot from this lawsuit.
Apple and Epic Games have decided to take their battle to court, and proceedings are set to become pretty messy. The two companies are now locked in a legal battle over how Apple handles its App Store.
Apple removed Epic Games’ hit battle royale Fortnite from the App Store due to violations in the way Epic Games was selling in-app purchases. Apple requires that all developers use the App Store for in-app purchases so that Apple gets a cut of the sales.
Epic Games circumvented that requirement, causing Apple to remove Fortnite from the app store, which then led Epic Games to sue Apple. The whole situation has become an absolute mess.
Everything we’ve learned from the lawsuit so far
With court proceedings beginning to get underway, a lot of evidence is being brought to the table from both sides, and there are a lot of interesting things to come from making this evidence public. So much, in fact, that we’ve decided to compile all of the juicy news from the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit right here.
Epic Games has lost $300 million on exclusive deals
The Epic Games Store was established in 2018. One of the ways that the company has planned on gaining market share in the gaming world is by buying exclusive rights to a lot of games. Court documents revealed that Epic Games has lost around $300 million so far to the purchase of exclusive rights.
Epic is fully okay with this spending and even says that the company won’t be ultimately profitable for a few more years. According to the company, this spending is necessary to help establish the store in the market.
Epic’s “free” games cost the company millions
Another way that Epic is drawing users to the platform is by offering different games for free to everybody every couple of weeks. A court document shows exactly how much money Epic spent on these “free” games during the first few months that the store was live.
Interestingly, the data shows an incredibly low user acquisition cost, with Epic adding almost 5 million new users after spending around $11 million.
Fortnite made $9 billion in just two years
Most people know that Fortnite is Epic Games’ biggest cash cow. Well, new documents revealed as part of the case show just how much money the game made in 2018 and 2019. Over the course of those two years, the game made a combined revenue of over $9 billion dollars.
The game was at peak popularity in 2018, raking in a cool $5.5 billion that year. It followed up with another stellar performance in 2019, making $3.7 billion. There’s no doubt that Fortnite’s popularity has given Epic the resources needed to do what it is doing today.
Epic made around $50 million from NFL branded skins
During Fortnite’s several year run as the biggest video game in the world, Epic partnered with several companies to bring certain kinds of skins to the game. Well, it was recently revealed just how lucrative one of those deals was for Epic Games.
Epic sold just over 3 million NFL-branded skins during its two-month run. Each of those skins cost $15, which means Epic made right around $50 million from sales of those skins.
This chart posted on Twitter shows that NFL skins were actually third in terms of sales numbers, so it’s clear that Epic has made a fortune from these collaborations so far.
PlayStation has the largest Fortnite player base
The entire lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple is over Fortnite’s treatment on the App Store. But court documents show that Apple’s platforms are not the biggest moneymaker for Fortnite.
In fact, iOS sits all the way back in fifth place in terms of revenue for Fortnite. Apple devices fall behind PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The largest platform for sales in Fortnite is the PS4. PlayStation users generate a massive 46.8 percent of revenue. For comparison, Apple is only responsible for 7% of overall revenue from Fortnite.
Possible new skins in Fortnite
Fortnite has nearly perfected the free-to-play model, offering skins and items that appeal to gamers across all platforms. Well, the court proceedings recently revealed a few new skins that will be coming to the game soon.
The Verge reported that Epic is currently working on some sort of basketball mini-game, and with it, possibly Lebron James and Zion Williamson skins. The same document also shows a few other possible skin options for the future, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Apple intentionally keeps iMessage off of other platforms
Apple has had its fair share of secrets spilled as part of this ongoing lawsuit. One set of documents presented to the court claims to show how Apple has intentionally kept iMessage off of other platforms, as a way to “lock in” customers to the Apple ecosystem.
Several internal Apple emails were presented as part of this evidence that state that it would be relatively simple to bring iMessage to other platforms. However, doing so would ultimately be negative for the company, as more people may be inclined to purchase other devices if iMessage was available.
Apple and Facebook have been fighting since 2011
Keeping with that same theme, we have a few more released emails. Emails between Apple and Facebook executives, including Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, dating back to 2011 were recently presented to the court. These emails highlight a struggle between the two companies over the Facebook app for iPad.
According to CNBC, these emails highlight a strained relationship between the two companies over what was to be allowed as part of the Facebook app. At the time, Facebook wanted its embedded apps to be a part of the Facebook app, but that was against Apple’s policies.
Epic Games is working on Rocket League for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S
The kind of information coming out of this lawsuit spreads across many different areas of the companies’ businesses. One of the more recent revelations shows that a PS5 and Xbox Series X|S version of the super popular game Rocket League is currently in the works.
Epic Games acquired the company that develops Rocket League in 2019 and has since brought the game over to the Epic Games Store. Now, it looks like the company is working on making a new version of the game for next-generation consoles.
Walmart might be working on cloud gaming
Maybe the wildest thing to come out of these proceedings so far is new details surrounding a possible Walmart cloud gaming service.
Details about a potential Walmart cloud gaming service originally came out back in 2019. However, like many other things, the pandemic put a halt to that. Well, court documents now give us an updated look at what a Walmart cloud gaming service could possibly look like.
Microsoft explored reducing Xbox publisher fees to 12%
The rates that certain stores pay to game developers have been a big part of the talks that have happened during the initial phases of this lawsuit.
Just a couple of days after Microsoft revealed its plans to cut its fees for games on Windows down from 30% to 12%, lawyers presented new evidence as part of the Apple vs. Epic Games suit.
These documents showed that Microsoft was actually planning to make that same cut in fees on Xbox consoles as well. However, in the days since this revelation, the company confirmed that it would not be cutting its fees on Xbox.
Sony really did not want cross-platform play
Epic Games has been pretty vocal about making its bread and butter, Fortnite, a cross-platform experience where friends from all different platforms can play together. Well, it turns out that PlayStation really didn’t like the sound of that.
Documents from a couple of years ago were presented as part of the lawsuit. And they show how PlayStation was very hesitant to get on board with cross-platform gaming. In fact, the documents even show a plan for PlayStation to implement a revenue share program, where publishers pay Sony for certain cross-platform games that might be doing better on other platforms.
Apple vs Epic Games in 2022
Epic originally sued Apple back in August of 2020. Here we are, 18 months later, and there hasn’t been much progress in the lawsuit.
The court did make a ruling on the lawsuit back in September, which was mostly in Apple’s favor. It found that the Cupertino tech giant was not a monopolist in the way it operates the App Store.
However, the judge on the case did rule that Apple would have to allow developers to use third-party payment methods for in-app purchases. Unsurprisingly, both companies have since appealed the court’s decision.
Epic Games appealed the decision almost immediately. The gaming giant wasn’t happy with the decision from the court that Apple does not act as a monopoly with the App Store. The court also ordered Epic to pay $3.65 million for using a third-party payment system that violated Apple’s policies.
Soon after, Apple also decided it wasn’t happy with the decision. Apple appealed the ruling in October, just a few weeks after Epic’s appeal. The iPhone creators didn’t like that they would be required to allow third-party payment options for apps downloaded through the App Store.
The companies are both still bickering back and forth, flexing their wallets at each other through the court process. The court will hear appeals sometime later this year. But we will likely have to wait at least another year before it reaches a final decision.
A new workaround lets you play Fortnite on your iPhone or iPad
While Apple has made it clear that Fortnite won’t be coming back to the App Store until the legal proceedings have run their course, there is a new workaround to let you play the popular battle royale on your iPhone or iPad.
And it’s all thanks to a recent partnership between Epic Games and Microsoft. Microsoft recently added Fortnite to its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. And the best part? It’s completely free.
All you have to do is head to xbox.com/play and log into your Microsoft account. From there, you can play Fortnite for free, no downloads necessary.
And it’s a cheeky way for Epic Games to bypass the App Store. Whether you’re on iPhone or iPad, you can play Fortnite through the link above with either touch controls or a connected controller.
That’s everything from the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit…so far
That just about covers it for all of the information that has come from the Apple vs. Epic Games lawsuit so far. This just goes to show how far these companies reach.
This lawsuit has brought up several interesting topics involving various companies, and there’s probably more to come. Grab your popcorn, this lawsuit is set to become an entertaining dumpster fire.
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