According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Apple plans on blacklisting Fortnite from its online gaming ecosystem until a final judgment is reached in the lawsuit between the two companies. This comes after Epic appealed a decision that declared iOS applications must be allowed to direct users to payment options outside of Apple.
“Apple lied,” Sweeney said in a recent Twitter post. “Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.”
Apple’s plans could keep Fortnite off of iOS and Mac platforms until the conclusion of the appeals process. According to Tim Sweeney, these appellate procedures could last up to five years.
The Profit‘s Take:
I love this development. The ruling that had previously been reached seemed like a minor win for Epic Games. Now, Apple has just decided to blacklist Epic Games almost entirely. Keeping this game off of Apple platforms for five years could mean the death of Fortnite. Apple didn’t pick this fight. Epic did. Apple has sent a clear and beautiful message: “if you mess with us, we will bury you.” There is a 0% chance that another developer takes on Apple over the App Store. Realistically, people (ie end users) love a closed ecosystem. It’s what makes Apple and its products great and simple to use. Tim Sweeney broke the first rule of business: don’t pick a fight you’re not sure you can win. He picked a fight that he would likely lose, and he lost big! This could truly be the end of Fortnite. This certainly impacts the game’s longevity. I don’t think there’s any coming back from this. Tim Sweeney’s ego got in the way of his smart video game development mind. Of every company you could smear, you go after the most admired company on the planet. Talk about the worst possible target to go after. This was a clear sign of poor business judgment on the part of Tim Sweeney.