Epic vs. Apple is not about ‘freedom’

I’ve been trying to avoid writing about the Epic-Apple quarrel. While it serves to help consolidate App Store critics, it’s not the dramatic fight Epic seems to believe.

It’s about money and control

In my experience, when wealthy people talk about “freedom,” it doesn’t usually mean freedom for the rest of us, just freedom for them. This whole affair can easily be characterized as being little more than a company of millionaires fighting a company of billionaires over the right to take a cut from software sales.

I haven’t completely waded through the verbosity of Epic’s complaint, but I think it’s fair to say the main thrust is that it wants to sell games to iOS users at its own store and doesn’t want to pay Apple 30% to do so. That’s a little inconsistent, as the only games store that doesn’t take 30% on sales is Epic’s. All the other games stores take exactly the same as Apple.

You can argue about the amount, and in time it now seems more likely regulators will step in to decide what a fair fee should be. But it’s worth pointing out that even concession stores in major department stores pay to occupy space there.

Why should it be any different in the online world?

What does authenticity look like?

To me, authenticity doesn’t look like deliberately flouting rules you’ve signed up to follow, only to launch pre-prepared litigation and a flashy PR campaign the moment your business partner responds by terminating the deal you’d accepted.

I don’t think that’s an example of authenticity. It’s more a classic case of passive aggression, in which someone does something they know is wrong and then acts as if they are being picked on when the wronged party responds.

In case you missed the tedious sequence of events in the spat:

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