Archive for Epic Games

Bad News For Epic Games: They Were Denied A Preliminary Injunction for Fortnite… Good News For Epic: Apple Can’t Block The Unreal Engine

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 10, 2020 by itnerd

Epic Games had a mixed day. On the good news side of the fence, a judge ruled that Apple can’t block the Unreal engine as the judge believes the decision will keep things fair between the two companies until a final decision. On the bad news side of the fence, Apple can keep Fortnite off the App Store as the judge believes that Epic knew exactly what they were doing when the company decided to break the App Store rules.

For those who want to see the details, here’s a link to the ruling.

This seems to be consistent with previous rulings, and if I were Epic Games, I’d be reconsidering my stance. The reason being that Epic Games really losing this fight. And they may end up with nothing if they don’t find some way to resolve this fight.

Apple And Epic Don’t Want A Jury Trial

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 29, 2020 by itnerd

It is incredible. Apple and Epic agree on something. They both do not want to have a jury trial in their ongoing legal dispute over Fortnite and Apple’s App Store policies, according to a court filing submitted to the Northern California court handling the case today. This is despite the fact the judge thinks a jury trial is important.

I still think Epic is still in a place where they are on the losing end of this. The judge who presided over this has shown that Epic’s arguments are bogus. All this move to a non-jury trial does is stall the inevitable.

Epic Games Has Bigger Problems Than It’s Fight With Apple

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 18, 2020 by itnerd

Fun fact. Epic Games has a Chinese company that owns 40% of the company. That Chinese company is Tencent who owns portions of many American businesses including Epic. And they’re now under investigation by US authorities on orders of President Trump:

The Trump administration has asked gaming companies to provide information about their data-security protocols involving Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd., people familiar with the matter said.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which is chaired by the Treasury Department, has sent letters to companies, including Epic Games Inc., Riot Games and others, to inquire about their security protocols in handling Americans’ personal data, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company, owns Los Angeles-based Riot and has a 40% stake in Epic, which is the maker of the popular video game Fortnite. Representatives for the companies declined to comment or didn’t immediately respond. The Treasury Department declined to comment.

Well, Epic’s fight with Apple over Fortnite now seems to be the least of their problems. If I were Epic, I’d focus on what is important as I would assume that being associated with a Chinese company in the current company is not going to be too good for Epic in long term. And if Epic would have to divest the Tencent investment, that would really hurt.

Epic Game To macOS Users…. Fortnite Is Kind Of Done On The Mac

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 18, 2020 by itnerd

Epic Games has announced that “Fortnite: Save the World” will no longer be playable on macOS. This is due to the fact that Apple has terminated their developer account:

Apple is preventing Epic from signing games and patches for distribution on Mac, which ends our ability to develop and offer Fortnite: Save the World for the platform. Specifically, our upcoming v14.20 release will cause bugs for players on v13.40, resulting in a very poor experience. Since we are no longer able to sign updates and release fixes for these issues, beginning September 23, 2020, Fortnite: Save the World will no longer be playable on macOS.

We are issuing a refund for all players who purchased any Save the World Founder’s or Starter Packs (including Upgrades) and played Save the World on macOS between September 17, 2019 and September 17, 2020. Additionally, any purchased V-Bucks spent on Llamas on macOS in this period will also be refunded. As of today, September 17, 2020, Save the World Starter Packs will no longer be available for purchase on macOS.

Please note: It may take up until October 2, 2020 to receive the refund in your bank account. 

But there’s also this:

Fortnite: Battle Royale remains playable for Mac users at this time on the v13.40 build, but is no longer receiving version updates due to Apple’s actions.

To the shock of nobody, Epic is still implying that this is Apple’s fault despite the fact that Epic created this situation. That’s pretty sad. Maybe Epic should take a look in a mirror and rethink their actions.

Apple Is Saying That Epic Games Is Engaging In “Willful, Brazen, And Unlawful Conduct”… Ouch

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 8, 2020 by itnerd

Well, this is really becoming a bitch slap fest.

Apple filed paperwork today in relation to an upcoming hearing that may decide if Fortnite makes it back onto the App Store. Oh, and Apple is now suing Epic Games for damages for breach of contract. And it wasn’t nice. MacRumors has the details:

In a court filing today, Apple says that Epic’s lawsuit is “nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” highlighting the revenue that Epic Games has earned through the Fortnite iOS app and Apple’s developer tools.

Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the ‌App Store‌. Epic’s demands for special treatment and cries of “retaliation” cannot be reconciled with its flagrant breach of contract and its own business practices, as it rakes in billions by taking commissions on game developers’ sales and charging consumers up to $99.99 for bundles of “V-Bucks.”

For years, Epic took advantage of everything the ‌App Store‌ had to offer. It availed itself of the tools, technology, software, marketing opportunities, and customer reach that Apple provided so that it could bring games like Infinity Blade and Fortnite to Apple customers all over the world. It enjoyed the tremendous resources that Apple pours into its ‌App Store‌ to constantly innovate and create new opportunities for developers and experiences for customers, as well as to review and approve every app, keeping the ‌App Store‌ safe and secure for customers and developers alike.

But it doesn’t stop there, here’s the “ouch” moment which references Epic CEO Eric Sweeney:

Neither Mr. Sweeney’s self-righteous (and self-interested) demands nor the scale of Epic’s business can justify Epic’s deliberate contractual breaches, its tortious conduct, or its unfair business practices. This court should hold Epic to its contractual promises, award Apple compensatory and punitive damages, and enjoin Epic from engaging in further unfair business practices.

That will leave a mark. Seeing as Apple has previously given the court details of Sweeney tried to cut a deal with Apple to get himself more favorable terms right before this blew up. As time goes on, Epic really looks like a bunch of grade A scumbags that really need the butts kicked in court and beyond. Which is not the result that I bet that Epic was expecting.

Epic Asks Court To Put Fortnite Back On The App Store Citing ‘Retaliation’ From Apple & ‘Irreparable Harm’

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 5, 2020 by itnerd

Epic Games who pretty much dropped themselves into a mess where they got kicked off the Apple App Store and the Google Play store is now asking a court to stop Apple’s “retaliation” by allowing Fortnite back on the App Store. And Epic claims that it will cause ‘irreparable harm’ to Epic if that doesn’t happen. Reuters has the details:

“This was a clear warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we will cut you off from a billion iOS consumers – challenge us and we will destroy your business,” Epic Games said in Friday’s filing.

This is total Bullshit as evidenced by a judge saying that this situation was of Epic’s own making. As in Epic tried to get a special deal from Apple. When that didn’t work, they kicked off this entire mess. So while I am not a lawyer, I truly do not expect Epic to get anywhere with this filing. If they were smart, they’d find a way out of this mess. But given their actions thus far, they don’t seem to be that smart.

Epic Games Apple Developer Account Is Now Terminated

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 29, 2020 by itnerd

Apple said it was going to happen. And last night, it happened. Apple has terminated the developer account of Epic Games who tried to bypass Apple by offering up their own payment system so that they would make 30% more money. But the battle is far from over. Besides the court case, there’s the battle on Twitter. Apple gave a statement to several outlets including 9to5Mac.com, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney responded:

Sweeney’s response is really rich considering everything that has come out about what Epic wanted from Apple, and the fact that they were expecting to get punted and had marketing material ready to go. Frankly, Epic Games can take a flying leap as far as I am concerned. They’re really tried a power play and failed. Now Eric Sweeney and his employees need to either make nice and take the judges suggestion and make things right.

Epic Games Gives The Middle Finger To Apple By Refusing To Make Any Changes To Fortnite

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 26, 2020 by itnerd

Fresh off of losing in court to Apple earlier this week, Epic Games was given the choice by the judge overseeing the case to fix this situation by pulling out the ability to bypass Apple’s in app payment system. But it now looks like that’s not going to happen and Epic Games is giving the middle finger to the Apple ecosystem.

In an update to a “Fortnite” FAQ today, Epic Games said that the season update would not be available on iPhone, iPad or Mac on the Aug. 27 date. Oddly, they aren’t doing the same thing to Google which Epic is also suing. So in short, it seems that Apple users of all sorts are being abandoned by Epic Games. In effect, they are giving Apple and their user base the middle finger.

Up until this point, I have tried not to take sides in this as neither side is blameless here. But Epic Games has really screwed this up. They really tried to do a power play here from all the available evidence. And because they didn’t get their way, they’re picking up their marbles and going home. Thus I for one would say that Epic shouldn’t let the door hit them on the way out. You’re not going to be missed on the Apple platform.

Judge Blocks Apple From Terminating Epic Games Access To Development Tools For The Unreal Engine…. But Allows Apple To Terminate Access To Their Developer Account

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 25, 2020 by itnerd

In a ruling handed down late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted in part and denied in part Epic Games request for a restraining order. The good news for Epic is that it won’t lose access to the tools required to maintain the Unreal Engine. That’s good because companies that use the Unreal Engine won’t be collateral damage in this fight. It also lets Apple off the hook for making a bit of an unforced error on this front. The bad news for Epic is that the judge will not prevent Apple from terminating the Epic Games developer account, which will prevent Fortnite from being updated until Epic complies with the ‌App Store‌ rules.

Of interest, the judge in this case said that the company did not demonstrate irreparable harm, adding that the situation appears to be of its own making. Which appears to be the case seeing as Epic appears to have engineered this whole situation to try and bully Apple.  

Now this isn’t over. There’s a hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction against Apple scheduled for late September. So this will continue in the next few weeks.

Microsoft Gaming Exec Files Court Document Supporting Epic Games

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 24, 2020 by itnerd

One of the things that is at the center of the Epic Games vs. Apple battle is that the Unreal Engine that is used by many third party developers use. Apple has threatened to cut off access to their development tools, and this if acted upon will end up having these third party developers being collateral damage in this fight as it would leave developers who have nothing to do with this fight unable to use the Unreal Engine as it would not be updated. Now I’ve said that this is an unforced error by Apple, and it seems that Microsoft agrees. Microsoft gaming executive Kevin Gammill wrote this [Warning: PDF]:

“Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers.”

And Microsoft has a stake in this. Microsoft’s own racing game Forza Street for iPhone and iPad use the Unreal Engine. And by not having access to it will put game makers who use the Unreal Engine at a disadvantage according to Gammill. And the fact that he would file a court document like this to put this on record says something. That will get the attention of both those in the legal community, and those in the political space. Something that will ultimately come back to haunt Apple. If I were them, I would be rethinking this strategy. Because if they don’t, it won’t end well for them.