Apple responded to Epic Games’ lawsuit accusing it of anticompetitive behavior in how it controls the App Store, telling the court that the Fortnite maker violated Apple’s rules and shouldn’t be placed back into the store temporarily while the legal battle rages.
In its filing, Apple alleges that Epic Games asked for an individual arrangement with Apple, producing three emails from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney that bolster its claim.
This is Apple’s first significant legal response to Epic Games after the dispute between the two companies spilled into the courts. It comes the week after Epic Games released a direct payment mechanism inside Fortnite designed to bypass the App Store’s payment system, from which Apple takes a 30% cut. Apple subsequently removed Fortnite from its store for violating its policies. People who already have Fortnite installed on their iPhones can continue to play, but cannot update or download the app for the first time.
Epic sued it Apple in an attempt to force it to change its business practices and launched a “free Fortnite” marketing campaign portraying Apple as the villain.
Sweeney said earlier this month that Epic is not seeking a “special deal” with Apple that other iOS app makers don’t get.
But in Friday’s filing, Apple disputed that point.
“On June 30, 2020, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney wrote my colleagues and me an email asking for a ‘side letter’ from Apple that would create a special deal for only Epic that would fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple’s iOS platform,” former Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller wrote in a declaration. Schiller, whose title is now Fellow, runs Apple’s App Store.
Apple said Sweeney was asking permission for Epic to bypass in-app purchases and allow Fortnite players to pay it directly. Schiller said that Sweeney emailed him the morning that Fortnite changed its payment mechanism saying that it “will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.”
“Because of restrictions imposed by Apple, Epic is unable to provide consumers with certain features in our iOS apps,” Sweeney wrote in the June 30 email titled “Consumer Choice & Competition” produced by Apple. It was sent to Apple CEO Tim Cook as well as Schiller and other top Apple executives.
“Apple would need to provide a side letter or alter its contracts and standards documents to remove such restrictions to allow Epic to provide a competing app store and competing payment processing option to iOS customers,” it continued, although the letter did note that “we hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers.”
Epic has asked for a temporary restraining order that would place Fortnite back on the App Store. A hearing on that order is scheduled for Monday in the Northern District of California.
“In the wake of its own voluntary actions, Epic now seeks emergency relief. But the ’emergency’ is entirely of Epic’s own making,” Apple’s lawyers said in the filing.
Apple says that if Epic were to remove the payment mechanism it introduced, it would allow Fortnite to return to the App Store, and would not disable Epic’s developer account. If Epic were to lose its Apple developer accounts, it would not only be unable to publish Fortnite for iPhones, but it would also hamper the development of the Unreal Engine, software that helps programmers make games, and is used in hundreds of apps from many other companies.
Sony apologizes for PlayStation 5 pre-order disaster – Polygon
Pre-orders for Sony’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 5, opened shortly after the company announced its release date and price details. To put it nicely, it was a mess. Retailers went rogue and opened pre-orders early — a day ahead of the Sept. 17 date announced by Sony. Sites crashed and people panicked wondering whether they’d get their hands on a next-gen console or not.
As it turns out, Sony has recognized the error of its ways. “Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been been a lot smoother,” Sony tweeted from the PlayStation Twitter account on Saturday. “We truly apologize for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder — retailers will share more details. And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year.”
Let’s be honest: PS5 preorders could have been a lot smoother. We truly apologize for that.
Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for preorder – retailers will share more details.
And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year. pic.twitter.com/h1TaGsGBun
— PlayStation (@PlayStation) September 19, 2020
Specific details on future pre-order windows are still unclear.
To add more chaos to the pre-order mess, Amazon reported on Friday that people who did secure pre-orders might still see delays in getting their consoles. The company emailed pre-order customers and warned them they “may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand.” It continued: “We’ll make every effort to get the item to you as soon as possible once released.”
Sony’s next-gen competitor, Microsoft, is opening pre-orders for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on Sept. 22. The company appears to be more confident in its pre-order processing, providing exact timing for the pre-order launch. Pre-orders open Tuesday at 11 a.m. EDT.
Microsoft to Buy Bethesda for $7.5 Billion to Boost Xbox – Bloomberg
Microsoft Corp. said Monday it plans to acquire ZeniMax Media Inc., owner of the storied video-game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash, marking its biggest video game purchase ever.
Bethesda is the publisher of games like The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout and also has at least two titles slated for debut next year. ZeniMax, based in Rockville, Maryland, also owns several other studios across the globe, giving Microsoft’s Xbox business a much-needed infusion of titles and game developers. It’s one of the biggest privately-held game companies with 2,300 employees worldwide, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is launching a new generation of Xbox consoles in November at the same time as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 5. The games lined up for the new Xbox have so far disappointed some players, especially after Microsoft delayed its biggest title, Halo Infinite, until next year. The software maker has been adding new game creators and content, including acquiring six studios in 2018 and one last year. It spent $2.5 billion to purchase the maker of Minecraft in 2014.
Microsoft is leaning on its game subscription service, Game Pass, to draw in users and boost revenue and needs compelling content to attract customers to that product. Microsoft said Game Pass now has 15 million subscribers, up from the 10 million it announced in April.
“Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world,” said Xbox chief Phil Spencer in a blog post. “Our teams have a close and storied history working together.”
Recently however, Bethesda has been working more tightly with Sony. Bethesda had previously agreed to debut two of its upcoming games, Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, on Sony’s new PlayStation rather than Xbox. Both games were announced as “timed console exclusives,” meaning that they would be restricted to the PlayStation 5 for a fixed period of time before coming to Xbox. It remains to be seen how this acquisition will affect that deal.
Microsoft expects the deal to close in the second half of its fiscal year 2021, which ends June 30, and to have “minimal” impact on its adjusted operating income for the current and next fiscal years. The shares were down 1.4% to $197.66 at 9:35 a.m. in New York.
Sony’s launch lineup for the PlayStation 5 is stronger than Microsoft’s and that machine is expected to outsell the new Xbox devices, the Series X and Series S, according to George Jijiashvili, an analyst at researcher Omdia.
Bethesda was a pioneer in the market for personal computer games and an early developer of new types of games. The company was founded by Christopher Weaver in 1986 and initially developed football and hockey simulation games, before releasing role-playing title The Elder Scrolls in 1994.
ZeniMax was founded in 1999 by Weaver and Robert Altman, the company’s chief executive officer, to serve as a parent company for Bethesda. Over the next decade, it acquired the Fallout franchise and Id Software, the maker of Doom and Quake. Bethesda’s structure and leadership will remain in place, Microsoft said.
No new laws required to hold social media accountable for illegal content – Canada NewsWire
Wolff comes up short in first U.S. Open – pgatour.com
Sony apologizes for PlayStation 5 pre-order disaster – Polygon
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours Vancouver Is Awesome
- Sports23 hours ago
Watch: Frustrated Danny Lee 6-putts from 4 feet then withdraws from U.S. Open – Golf Channel
- Health19 hours ago
23 of 29 new COVID-19 cases announced in Manitoba on Sunday are in Winnipeg
- Real eState20 hours ago
LACKIE: There are signs of a softening real-estate market – Toronto Sun
- Politics14 hours ago
Mitch McConnell is the apex predator of U.S. politics – The Washington Post
- Tech6 hours ago
Sony promises more PS5 pre-order stock for retailers – GamesIndustry.biz
- Sports18 hours ago
2020 Tour de France stage 21 highlights – Video – Cyclingnews.com
- Business20 hours ago
Iconic Ranchman's Cookhouse & Dancehall building up for lease – Calgary Herald
- Media23 hours ago
Media advisory – Media technical briefing on Hurricane Teddy Français – Canada NewsWire