Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has once again blasted Apple in a public forum. Following the long-winded legal dispute between Fortnite developer and Apple on the iPhone makers’ App Store policies, Sweeney calls for a universal app marketplace.
Sweeney was interviewed at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness in Seoul, South Korea. As reported by Bloomberg, Sweeny spoke about Apple and Google during that time. “Apple locks a billion users into one store and payment processor,” Sweeney said. “Now Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws, which surveil users and deprive them of political rights. But Apple is ignoring laws passed by Korea’s democracy. Apple must be stopped.”
Sweeney also continued to say that he hopes to one day see a universal storefront across all platforms from mobile app stores to consoles and even on PC and laptops.
What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms. Right now software ownership is fragmented between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play marketplace, different stores on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, and then Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store.
In addition, Sweeney spoke about how Epic Games is working with development teams and publishers to create a systemic plan to benefit players. The idea is to enable players “to buy software in one place, knowing that they’d have it on all devices and all platforms.” Epic Games is continuously expanding its own Epic Games Store marketplace on PC.
There’s a store market, there’s a payments market, and there are many other related markets. And it’s critical that antitrust enforcement not allow a monopolist in one market to use their control of that market to impose control over unrelated markets.
The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple concluded earlier this year. Following months in court, Epic Games was ordered to pay Apple $6 million in lost royalties after the company introduced its own payment system as a way to sideline Apple’s App Store commission. After being removed from the App Store entirely, Epic Games sued Apple, believing the company instilled antitrust and anti-competitive. Epic Games has since appealed the verdict.