The well-publicized lawsuit between Epic Games, Apple, and Google has had a strange caveat explained away by the giant publisher at trial.
Epic’s argument that Apple and Google taking a 30% cut of all mobile transactions through the respective platform’s storefronts, plus the fact that Apple does not allow third-party stores – a sticking point for Epic which makes a small fortune on in-game transactions – has had an inconsistency pointed out in it. Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony all take a cut of sales too – but they are not included in this particular courtroom drama. But why is that?
Epic has now explained the reasoning behind that move during the ongoing Epic vs Google trial in San Fransisco.
The Verge reports that the recorded deposition of Epic Games CFO Randy Gelber back in September 2022 states, “We believe those [consoles] to be competitive markets and we believe that the fee, their cost structure, is entirely different than a mobile app store.”
No further questions
Gelber was further pushed on how the structures differ and responded, “Well, they subsidize hardware, so they sell their hardware, as far as I can tell from widely published reports, at a loss, and so the fee needs to cover that,” he said.
“Mobile apps are typically low in size and so their costs are higher, and I think their customer service costs are higher because people don’t call Google about apps, they call the developer generally.”With the evidence section of the trial complete, the judge has ordered that the two parties hold settlement talks ahead of the trial resuming on 11th December. The Verge also reports that Epic and Activision Blizzard were looking to launch a mobile storefront, initially on Android as far back as 2019. This would have brought smash hit games such as Call of Duty Mobile and Candy Crush to mobile platforms and circumnavigated the manufacturers’ own stores, and therefore the 30% cost to do business there.