3 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
In signature style, Epic Games danced out of the courtroom on Monday after the jury ruled against Google.
What does this mean?
Fortnite-maker Epic Games has been embroiled in a court battle with major app stores for years. Epic’s case argued that a 15 to 30% cut on in-app purchases was nothing short of extortion – but Google maintained that was only fair play. After all, the tech titan’s Play Store brings billions of shoppers within a click of Epic’s games for a limited cost, it says, so it deserves a chunk of change every time gamers upgrade their digital worlds. Not according to the jury on duty, though, which cast doubt on Google’s claims of altruism and sided with Epic.
Why should I care?
Zooming out: Not so epic.
Epic Games took on Apple back in 2020, but that one didn’t turn out so well for the gutsy developer. Apple won, and Epic’s still waiting for its Supreme Court appeal to come to fruition. So on one hand, the ruling against the Play Store – and any restrictions that follow – could give Apple’s App Store an advantage. But on the other, the verdict might force the Supreme Court to reassess the previous judgment, forcing Apple to suffer the same fate as rival Google.
The bigger picture: Welcome to the world of retail.
It’s human nature to pull for the underdogs. But while Epic’s a small fry next to Apple and Google, $6 billion in revenue is hardly puny. Mix in the company’s viral dance crazes that haunt parents around the world, and sympathy for the game developer will have its bounds. What’s more, at the end of the day, all retailers – from Walmart to GameStop – take a cut as thanks for uniting brands and shoppers. And in that sense, app stores are no different.
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