Epic Games' CEO responds to Apple's countersuit in Twitter thread
Tim Sweeney, Epic Games' CEO, took to Twitter to explain why, in his view, Apple was missing the bigger point of Epic's actions.
In a Twitter thread posted on September 9, Sweeney fired back against Apple's countersuit. He stated that Apple was oversimplifying Epic's actions — potentially deliberately — in regards to Epic's battle against Apple and its App Store.
Presumably they're just posturing for the court, but if Apple truly believes the fight over the App Store's distribution and payment monopoly is a "basic disagreement over money," then they've lost all sight of the tech industry's founding principles.https://t.co/349RHLqKYa— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 9, 2020
In its court filing Tuesday, Apple said that the Epic lawsuit is "nothing more than a basic disagreement over money." However, Sweeney disagrees.
He claims that Apple has overextended its reach when it comes to consumers' devices. He claims that all users should be able to install software freely and that all developers should be able to create and share apps as they wish.
"Your device isn't lorded over by some all-powerful corporation," Sweeney said in the thread. "This is EXACTLY what Apple's 1984 commercial was all about. Making computing personal, overcoming the awful precedent of IBM mainframes where computer owners were reduced to essentially just leasing devices controlled by an all-powerful company."
He continues by saying that Epic's controversial Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite video is also about striking back against an unfair system. He posits that Apple is now the all-powerful corporation they had worried about nearly three decades prior. He alleges that Apple infringes on both consumer and developer rights by acting as an "intermediary between creators and users, and using that position to exert control and extract money."
The rights of users and creators are the FOUNDATION of this dispute. Money is several layers removed, as the medium of exchange between users who choose to buy digital items, and the creators who made them. Epic isn't even seeking monetary damages. We are fighting for change!— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 9, 2020
In his Tweet volley, Sweeney neglected to mention that Epic stands in violation of a contract with Apple, that it agreed upon. He also isn't mentioning that Apple has explicitly said that Fortnite will be returned to the App Store, should Epic decide to remove its own payment processing option from the game.
While he claims that Epic is fighting for change, it should be noted that Apple had produced three emails in which Epic asked for an individual arrangement with Apple for special treatment. The company had wanted the ability to implement direct payment systems to bypass App Store fees solely for Fortnite.