Following the surprising news that Epic Games are suing Apple and Google after the companies removed Fortnite from their respective app stores, Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau made an appearance on Fox Business to break down the situation and reveal that he believes Epic will force major changes on the technological giants with their lawsuit.
On August 13, Epic Games unveiled a new option to purchase their in-game Fortnite currency, V-Bucks, directly through the app, bypassing Apple and Google’s app store. This meant that the two companies wouldn’t receive a cut of up to 30% from the transactions.
Many quickly suggested that this move would be a violation of both company’s terms of service, and it wasn’t long before the game was removed from app stores on both iOS and Android devices. The developers quickly hit back with a campaign mimicking Apple’s legendary ‘1984’ advert, calling on the company to ‘#FreeFortnite,’ before submitting lawsuits against both of the trillion-dollar companies.
Unsurprisingly, this issue is rumbling on, with Apple set to terminate Epic Games’ developer accounts on iOS and Mac, which could end up affecting any developers who use Unreal Engine. With the eyes of the world watching this situation unfold, Breslau appeared on Fox Business to break down the suit, and revealed he believes that Epic could force major changes on Apple in his conversation with host Ashley Webster.
When asked what the endgame was for Epic, Breslau explained: “This is a personal thing [for Tim Sweeney]. He’s been a huge advocate against Apple’s mobile app store, and now he’s mobilizing his company and the biggest game they have in Fortnite to try and make things fair for what he says is all developers around the world.
“Fortnite as a game is one of the first to have crossplay between consoles along with phones, so his way of looking at technology and the internet is to have open platforms. Apple is notoriously one of the most closed platforms in the world, you can’t create another App Store on the platform like Google and Android, which is why Tim isn’t going as hard at them as they are at Apple.”
Webster raised the idea that Apple and Google own and maintain the stores, so their argument will likely be that they can then charge whatever they like. “I will say Epic have gotten some very high profile lawyers,” responded Slasher. “They wouldn’t have jumped on this case if they didn’t think they had a real shot at taking down Apple and Google. They want to try and change the way Apple looks at the entire ecosystem, and let developers create their own store if they want to.”
Breslau then mentioned the congressional anti-trust hearing from July about situations like Apple’s app store, stating that Epic Games have been able to push the conversation forward much further than congress ever could, before stating: “I actually think Epic has a real shot at making a big change in Apple’s app store, and Google’s as well.”
i went on Fox Business tv to breakdown Epic Games ongoing Fortnite war vs Apple and Google pic.twitter.com/xr3ZlI3JRw
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 17, 2020
Players who already have Fortnite installed on their iOS and Android devices can continue to play the game for the foreseeable future, but will no longer receive any updates now that the game has been removed from the app store.
When a resolution will be found in this lawsuit remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: no matter the outcome, it will have major implications on the landscape of mobile gaming and technology as a whole for years to come.