Opinion: Epic Games is not a hero

by Eric Brown
#FREEFORTNITE. Epic Games

Epic Games is no hero in this story regarding Apple’s over controlled monopoly removing Fortnite from the app store. Now, this isn’t saying that Apple and Google are good companies either because of their chosen business practices. On August 13th, Kotaku published an article with the opening excerpt,

Following Epic’s release of its own direct payment method for Fortnite on Apple and Android mobile devices this morning, Apple has removed the popular battle royale from its store. In response, Epic has filed a legal injunction against Apple. Source

While Apple has a very well-known history of maintaining a controlling environment on their mobile devices’ App Store, Epic Games, with billions in the bank, aren’t the heroes they set themselves up to be. Just after this, they released a fully Fortnite-animation 1984-Parody with the video with the following message:

Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984’. #FreeFortnite”

This untimely decision to release this video was remarkably tone-deaf, considering everything happening in the world right now. Add in all the exclusivity deals they pulled for their Epic Games Store when it launched, also adds an extra degree of hypocrisy on their end.

The insane element about all this was that the video got posted after the removal from the app store, and considering animation can take weeks to months even with all the improvements in technology, exposes that this was all planned preemptively on Epic’s part because nothing screams heroic than that right? Once again, Apple isn’t the good guy here either; there is no hero in this story. It is one mega-corporation taking on another mega-corporation while using people who are fans of fortunate to sway the court of public opinion on their side

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has argued that the online marketplaces that sell games – Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Store, and Valve’s PC game store Steam –take an unfair cut from game sales and in-game transactions.

In my opinion, and I can freely admit I’m wrong, these publishing platforms provide content control, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they want a cut of the profits generated. At the same time, we have a right to express outrage over practices, and I believe Epic Games shouldn’t be the voice of the people considering all the shady actions and exploitation of the consumer they try to manipulate in getting their help while ignoring the legitimate Orwellian issues that plague society in 2020.

Had this simply been corporate shenanigans having significant disagreements resulting in a lawsuit, this wouldn’t be a news story. However, the construct they pulled with manipulating the consumer is what has led to this big discussion where everyone told to pick a side in the legal battle to defeat another company with billions in the bank.

There is no hero in this story. All I’m seeing is a shady multi-billion dollar company fighting another shady multi-billion dollar company and the consumer having their passion being manipulated by them to win the court of public opinion.

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