EPIC Battle Begins (vs. Apple)
This week the antitrust lawsuit filed by Epic Games against Apple started and we are already learning a lot about the inner workings of Epic. More on that later.
The Epic lawsuit is indeed epic as it has implications for everyone who uses a smart phone, regardloess of platform or whether they even know who Epic Games is. At the heart of the argument, Epic Games claims that Apple has created a monopoly by restricting all purchases of apps to their store, thus controlling the entire market and holding both developers and consumers for ransom. Apple claims that there is no monopoly as the competition is the Android platform and Google’s corresponding Play Store. Further, Apple claims (and they are not incorrect) that they review the code for every single app that is on the App Store to ensure that it does not contain any viruses or malware, which is highly valuable to consumers.
If Epic wins, Apple will be forced to allow other app stores to exist for iOS and thus create more competition, lowering prices and costs to both devs and consumers. It could also open consumers up to unsavory apps as well.
Do you know Epic Games?
Many of you are aware of Epic Games, especially if you have a young gamer in the house. They are best known in the gaming world for Fortnite and its Battle Royale mode that catapulted the company to new heights and made their brand a household name. But, thats not all there is to Epic Games. To that end, I thought I’d post a few interesting tidbits about the company so the next time it comes up in conversation you can look like a fanboy. LOL
Until Fortnite was born, Epic was actually known for their “other” product, Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is the most advanced 3D rendering engine in the world. not only is it the foundation of their games, but it is used by all sorts of companies in almost every market! Here are just a few examples:
- Automobile manufacturers use it to design and prototype cars
- Architects use it to design and render buildings
- Film studios use it to create digital worlds and now even to create human-like characters (Princess Leia in Rogue One as an example)
- Airlines and the military use it for training simulators
- Medical schools and hospitals use it for training
Ask any kid and they will tell you that Fortnite stole their Battle Royale concept from PUBG (Player Unknown’s Battle Ground), which also uses the Unreal Engine. And, that is likely true, but the concept wasn’t that unique and Fortnite did it better.
What you may not know is that Epic was strugglign with their Fortnite game, originally designed like a FPS (first person shooter), called Save the World, where the player(s) battle against zombies and all sorts of strange characters. The game had only minimal success.
Epic devs decided to create the Battle Royale mode just to help drive interest for the Save the World mode. They actually created Battle Royale in under 2 weeks! Little did they know that they were about to revolutionize the gaming market and their Free-to-Play model is becoming the new way to sell video games.
In fact, as we learned from the opening days of the trial, Epic actually made over $7 billion from Fortnite since its launch! That model has since been applied to Rocket Leageu which Epic acquired last year, and soon to Fall Guys, which Epic also acquired.
I’ve mentioned the metaverse before, but the trial is also making it clear that Epic’s goal for Fortntie is not just a video game. They are attempting to do what Second Life could not (or was too early to do), build a metaverse. I’ll cover more on this in another post, but for those who read Ready Player One, the metaverse is basically the Oasis. For those that haven’t read the book, the metaverse is an online world or worlds where you can basically “live”. You get your education, your job, your entertainment all from a single platform. You log in and could be there all day. Is that good or bad? Everyone has their own opinons. More to come. Stay tuned.