Epic Games has not been a fan of Apple, especially since the Fortnite ordeal began in August. With the move to give indie developers a Apple tax break of 15%, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney claimed in a statement reported by CNBC that “This would be something to celebrate were it not a calculated move by Apple to divide app creators and preserve their monopoly on stores and payments, again breaking the promise of treating all developers equally.” Specifically, “By giving special 15% terms to select robber barons like Amazon, and now also to small indies, Apple is hoping to remove enough critics that they can get away with their blockade on competition and 30% tax on most in-app purchases.”
Spotify simply called Apple’s move “window dressing” in a statement and claimed that “Apple’s anti-competitive behavior threatens all developers on iOS, and this latest move further demonstrates that their App Store policies are arbitrary and capricious.” The Coalition for App Fairness Twitter account also tweeted about the situation, which you can see below.
Developers want a level playing field from Apple, NOT a symbolic gesture. Apple’s announcement today is a calculated move and and ignores fundamental flaws with the App Store, specifically:
— Coalition for App Fairness (@appfairness) November 18, 2020
It seems that none of the counterclaims to Apple’s store fee reduction appear to be wrong in all honesty. If Apple can randomly pick and choose who gets discounts, whether the app is big or small, why can it not be a flat reduction across the board? This move could be, as Sweeney explained, a way to get out from under scrutiny in the public eye. Ultimately, we will have to see what happens and how this could affect the Apple v. Epic Games trial set for May 2021.