Epic and Apple are currently locked in a brutal legal struggle about the future of mobile gaming. Epic argues that Apple’s near-monopoly status is being used to fleece both users and developers alike, taking a massive 30% of all sales made on the App Store. Apple, for their part, countered that Epic is in breach of contract for updating Fornite to bypass the App Store altogether whenever a user makes a purchase, and also that Epic is arguing in bad faith saying that this is anything but an argument over money. A lot of money.
This is all going to play out in the courts over the coming months (and probably years), but in the meantime, we get to look forward to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney waxing poetic about the nobility of his side’s cause over on Twitter.
The opinionated CEO took to Twitter today to say this isn’t just a “basic disagreement about money,” it’s about the “tech industry’s founding principles.”
“Foremost among those principles: the device you own is yours,” Sweeney began in a multi-part tweetstorm. “You’re free to use it as you wish. Configure it as you like, install software you choose, create your own apps, share them with friends. Your device isn’t lorded over by some all-powerful corporation.
“This is EXACTLY what Apple’s 1984 commercial was all about. Making computing personal, overcoming the awful precedent of IBM mainframes where computer owners were reduced to essentially just leasing devices controlled by an all-powerful company.
Yes, Sweeney’s point is certainly a good one, but it is truly hard to ignore the unimaginable amount of money that these two corporations bring the negotiating table. It’s nice that Sweeney is looking out for the little guy, but one should always look at a billionaire saying “I’m fighting for you!” with a healthy amount of skepticism.
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