Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, seems to be going through the moment of his life. The incredible success of Unreal Engine and, last but not least, Fortnite, has consolidated Epic's status as one of the true giants of the industry and, from this position of strength, the company has begun to be extremely disconcerting. The most obvious indication of this is their huge ongoing battle with Apple and Google over royalties charged by these companies' app stores, a fight that seems to be just beginning.
For us ordinary people, one of the funniest things about this scenario is seeing Sweeney shoot up the differences about what he or she doesn’t like about this or that aspect of platforming and explaining why. With the Apple test over, Sweeney noticed some news Apparently, Android phones require you to install state contract tracking software in Massachusetts"And I didn't like it at all."
Google Play desperately needs competition. Block popular apps like Fortnite against users 'wishes, while forcibly installing government apps without users' consent. It's a rotten business. https://t.co/KGXqOSywWPJune 22, 2021
Weenbviament, Sweeney relates to his usual hobby horse of how these poor corporations are blocking poor users of Fortnite (you can install Fortnite on an Android phone, although not through the Google Play store "default"), but user control is also one of its recurring themes. While this is more a case of Goliath versus Goliath as all Davids watch, and some may think it is possible to argue that automatically installing a government health app during a pandemic, call Google a "business with a rotten soul." is to argue.
Keep in mind that this forcefulness is quite typical of Epic’s approach with these platform holders. When its action against Google was announced late last year, the lawsuit said theatrically, "In 1998, Google was founded as a young and exciting company with a unique motto: 'Don't be evil.' The Google Code of Conduct explained that this warning was about "how we serve our users" and "much more than that … it's also about doing the right thing more generally."
"Twenty-two years later, Google has relegated its motto to almost a later idea and uses its size to hurt competitors, innovators, customers and users in a large number of markets that has grown to monopolize." .
Epic is a company based on the aspiration of serving a new generation of developers and customers as openly and in solidarity as Apple did when they invented personal computers. As we enter court tomorrow, we fight for these original digital freedoms.May 2, 2021
Sweeney is still working on it this morning, posting Photoshop images of the Apple logo as a padlock next to a cartoon comparing platform holders to foxes. Does that make developers chicken?
Developers, watch out for foxes. They wear masks with dollar signs and take 30% of your income. pic.twitter.com/26X4tmTpVZJune 24, 2021
One thing we can say for sure: the great Tim is not afraid. The verdict in the Epic vs Apple case has not yet been delivered, although the trial is over (here is a full account of what happened), while Epic's actions against Google in several territories are still ongoing.