Epic Games just won a temporary restraining order against Apple — at least in part. Effective immediately, Apple can’t retaliate against the company by terminating the developer account used to support the company’s Unreal Engine. But in the same ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers decided that Apple will not be required to bring Fortnite — which it had banned after Epic added an in-app payment system in violation of Apple’s rules — back to the App Store.
I think this is a fair order. Epic willingly and purposefully broke the agreement it entered into with Apple to elicit a response and strengthen their lawsuit case, and Apple is well within its right to remove Fortnite as a result. However, for Apple to then also block and remove everything else related to Epic is clearly retaliatory and petty, and the judge seemed to have seen right through Apple (and Epic’s) nonsense.
Of course, this is technically not part of the actual lawsuit filed by Epic that started all of this – these are the opening salvos in what will be a long, drawn-out fight.
The dreaded 30%…
I understand the value for most cases. If you sell an app for 1 dollar, there is really 30 cents of benefit by Apple (PayPal, for example asks 2.9% + $0.30 for all orders. And that does not include international fees). Even for an expensive purchase the value is mostly there.
They also help users manage all their subscriptions from a single place. You no longer need to run after never ending phone calls to reach customer service, and receive an hour long retention speech. In app purchases are secured in a similar way. If you shaft the customer, they have a right to refund, directly from Apple.
But the situation changes when the second party (Epic here), already had infrastructure to support those cases. They can easily enter an agreement with Apple, and say “we will accept refunds thru your system, and whatnot, but will do the financial processing ourselves. Let’s agree on 10%” or something similar. That would not be a big loss on Apple, and will probably be fair, as long as they demonstrate the ability to hold their promise.
Even Amazon offers “seller fulfilled prime”. You can ship your own packages and get access to Prime users, as long as you agree to the same level of customer service quality.
That would have been more than fair.