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Epic Games CEO criticizes Apple’s App Store in a new interview

Epic Games CEO criticizes Apple’s App Store in a new interview

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has criticized Apple for its iOS app store and business model in a new interview.

Speaking to the Financial Times, he said:

The problem here is a classic monopoly loop. You start with the hardware. Apple makes smartphones and profits from their smartphones, and they deserve it. But then they force all smartphone buyers to use their app store exclusively for digital content. They keep all the other app stores from competing with them on hardware owned by a billion end users. It is the first link and completely impedes all competitive and market forces that would shape better app stores and better offers for consumers.

Sweeney also criticized Apple for forcing developers to use its own built-in payment system that charges up to 30% commission for top-earning developers and 15% for developers earning less than $1 million.

While Apple has “fairly won” in the hardware market, it says it uses this position to gain “an unfair advantage over competitors and other markets.” He said that Apple would have to compete with stores like Steam, Epic Games, Store, etc., all of which would pay commissions to their owners instead of Apple. Epic Games is also suing Google over its App Store business model, even though Android users can download apps and are not required to use the Play Store to download software.

Sweeney also said he was “terribly scared” that companies like Apple and Google would threaten their own metaverse plans and use their power “to become the next monopolies on new generations of platforms.” He continued:

It is a great motivator. Epic currently battling Apple and Google over their smartphone practices. If these practices continue on smartphones, they will not only dominate digital commerce and digital goods on smartphones, they will eventually dominate the metaverse and dominate all physical commerce that takes place in virtual and augmented reality.

Sweeney also said that iPhone and Android users were “duped,” as were big brands, “into trusting their customer relationships with these companies, with the promise that they could have direct relationships with their customers.”

He also said Apple should be banned from the “sleazy accounting practice” of reporting revenue from services like Apple TV+ and Apple Music, as well as revenue from its App Store to hide how much it earns from the App Store. He said that Apple’s App Store was “a disservice to developers.”

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