Sorry, Tim Sweeney, But No, Absolutely Not

Sorry, Tim Sweeney, But No, Absolutely Not
Tim Sweeney, the Fortnite guy. (Photo: Mike Coppola / Getty Images, Getty Images)

Tim Sweeney, who is probably celebrating the small victory of Apple slashing their cut from App Store developers making less than $US1million in half, does not know when to shut up.

As reported by TechCrunch, the CEO of Epic Games decided to fix his mouth to liken his company’s struggle against Apple to the civil rights movement in a conversation hosted by the New York Times online summit Dealbook.

Here’s the quote:

It’s everybody’s duty to fight. It’s not just an option that somebody’s lawyers might decide, but it’s actually our duty to fight that. If we had adhered to all of Apple’s terms and, you know, taken their 30% payment processing fees and passed the cost along to our customers, then that would be Epic colluding with Apple to restrain competition on iOS and to inflate prices for consumers. So going along with Apple’s agreement is what is wrong. And that’s why Epic mounted a challenge to this, and you know you can hear of any, and [inaudible] to civil rights fights, where there were actual laws on the books, and the laws were wrong. And people disobeyed them, and it was not wrong to disobey them because to go along with them would be collusion to make them status quo.

So there can be little doubt about what he is saying, here’s a tweet:

And another from Sweeney:

The comparison wasn’t to the wrongs being fought – there’s no comparison – but to the means of fighting them. The question that was directly asked was why Epic broke Apple’s rules. The answer is the principle that it’s right to disobey rules that are wrongful.

Listen I get it, Apple sucks, their fees are exorbitant, and they’re anti-competition. I’m on your side. Stick it to ‘em. But I will not stay on your side if you keep making this fight against Apple as some kind of moral crusade when in truth you are a billion dollar company trying to pay less money to a trillion dollar company.

That struggle is nothing like the regular people — my aunts, uncles, and grandparents — who literally risked their lives fighting to get their government to treat them like real people.

In the immortal words if Issa Rae:

Please. Tim Sweeney, you’d help your cause a lot more if you would just…not.


    • Yeah often hear about it from large retail chains who claim that theft will cause prices to raise for the consumer, when in reality it doesn’t at all.

      • People complaining about game/movie/tv/music piracy always pull that shit too… Difference being that the anti-piracy fear mongers have basically zero way to definitively confirm that they actually lost a purchase.

    • Haven’t you heard! It totally works the other way as well! Any savings done by a company is *always* passed on to the consumer… like say alternate income sources ie. DLC!

      .. just look at how much cheaper EA and other games with Microtransactions have become… oh wait..

      • It actually doesn’t matter if it’s passed on to consumers. It’s perfectly okay here if the choice is between leaving a little more in the pocket of the company that had the idea for the game, developed the game, brought the game to market and provided ongoing support for the game after sale, as opposed to giving away 30% of that cost to a company that literally provides nothing other than a website and a credit card facility.

  • So I’m going to ignore the insanity of the civil rights movement comparison. But here’s the big fucking hole in the ‘moral’ stance he’s apparently now trying to take…

    Epic were perfectly fine giving Apple their 30% cut for fucking ages because it let them have access to millions of consumer dollars regardless.

    • A lot of companies have fought that 30% cut but eventually caved. The last of the big banks holding out on offering apple pay only changed their tune this year.

      I would say you are viewing the situation the wrong way round… Epic’s decision to fight the apple tax is costing them a whole lot more money than if they were to cave. It’s very questionable whether they will win where banks have failed. And even then I’m not sure they would recover the money they are spending on fighting the case. If they win though it is better for consumers, so on that basis I am cheering them on, even though I don’t actually play Fortnight nor use the apple ecosystem.

      • It’s not a tax. It’s a transparent fee to gain opt in access to an ecosystem.

        In what economic scenario does the user ever get to determine the price?

        • It’s not transparent at all. Transparent would require putting it on the invoice of every purchase, like typically happens with sales tax. In fact, if it weren’t for articles such as this one the fee would be completely invisible.

          Regardless, in your ideal capitalist world, you’ll be entirely happy if the company that built the home you own outright nonetheless insists on a 30% commission on top of every watt of electricity, and on top of every bag of groceries carried through your front door? After all, that’s just the cost of allowing access to the ‘home ecosystem’, right?

          And before you answer, remember that there are only two companies in this world that build houses, and both charge the same 30% commission on everything.

          Of course, if you really, really wanted to you could probably build your own home somewhere out in the woods far from electricity and supermarkets and never have to pay anyone anything.

    • Yeah, here’s the hypocrisy laid bare: Google Play store is not required for Android users to play Fortnite.
      But Epic still bitched and moaned about getting taken off it. Why? Because those platforms do, in fact, provide value. Value that somehow needs to be paid for. Epic’s making out like providing a platform and infrastructure is the only thing these services do, but there’s so much more to it than that.

      This is why we’ve seen EA winding down Origin and returning to Steam. Because even though it means they get 70% of sales instead of 100% of sales, the total sales Steam is generating for them outweighs the cost of what they pay to Valve.

      Epic is definitely misrepresenting things.

      • They don’t provide value. They extort people into using their extortion racket via constant nag warnings about how doing anything else is going to give you a virus, while reinforcing the point by making it nearly impossible for anyone who is not tech-savvy to leave the ecosystem without watching detailed YouTube videos.

        Indeed, in numerous cases it is in fact impossible to leave the ecosystem without disabling other desirable features such as NFC payment options, voiding your warranty and possibly bricking your phone.

  • “then that would be Epic colluding with Apple to restrain competition on iOS and to inflate prices for consumers”

    Restrain Competition? Like store exclusive games? Oh Tim, you’re a complete fucking hypocrite.

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