[REVIEW] : Roblox supports Apple in its legal battle against Epic Games

As a reminder, Epic denounced in August 2020 Apple’s commercial practices with regard to purchases made via the App Store, which deprived publishers of 30% of their income on each transaction carried out by users.

Last week, the Roblox group had sided with the Cupertino company extolling the merits of Apple’s app purchase platform: “Apple’s review and approval process for apps available on the App Store only increases safety and security and therefore brings to these applications greater legitimacy in the eyes of users”, they announced.

An unexpected ally

This position surprises and challenges. Indeed, there are few supporters of Apple in the course of this affair, and even more within the video game industry. As an online gaming platform.

Indeed, Roblox’s position was peculiar from the first trial, while Epic Games denounced the company as entitled to preferential treatment. At the time, Apple explained that it considered Roblox content to be “experiences”, thus justifying the company’s privileges.

Following this, the online gaming platform had its description changed from “games” to “experiences” in the App Store, and suddenly described itself as a metaverse company. With the new appeal hearing scheduled for next year, the case between the two giants is still far from over.

However, in some countries like the Netherlands or South Korea, Apple is already facing heavy sanctions against its business practices.

Apple vs Epic Games: the trial is postponed to March 2024 in Australia

Not before 2024 for the Apple-Epic trial in Australia

For the judge, postponing the trial between Apple and Epic Games to 2024 is beneficial in order to avoid practical and procedural problems if one takes place this year and the other two years later. An example is forcing federal court to stand trial on the same issue with different evidence.

“It is unrealistic to expect that the opinions of a panel of economic experts on market issues in the first case can be overlooked when hearing the same issue on the basis of different evidence in the second case. Therefore, it may well give rise to an apprehension of bias,” Nye Perram said. “Overall, it’s best not to cross these one-way bridges at this time.”

It’s worth noting that the November 2022 window for Apple and Epic Games was complicated. Both have recently indicated that a trial on this date is not a good idea. The creator of Fortnite then proposed mid-2023.

As a reminder, Epic Games criticizes Apple’s practices with its App Store, in particular the fact of not being able to go through other means to download an application or the impossibility of using third-party payment methods.

Apple vs Epic Games: Australian trial postponed to 2024

In the United Kingdom, in the United States, where the trial which was to take place in November will finally take place in 2024. Bringing the trial against Apple closer to that against Google Judge Nye Perram, in charge of the case in Australia, validated the postponement of the trial between the Cupertino company and the publisher of Fortnite, according to information from ZDNet. The judge says the lawsuit between the two companies has been pushed back to 2024 because another lawsuit between Epic Games and Google is expected that year. As Nye Perram points out, it is preferable that the period between the two trials be as short as possible because this will avoid legal uncertainties. Bringing the two trials closer together will also avoid procedural errors by forcing the courts to undergo a trial on the same case but with different evidence. “It is unrealistic to expect that the opinions of a panel of market economics experts in the first case can be overlooked when considering the same hearing on different evidence in the first case. second case. Therefore, this could lead to a bias problem. Nye Perram The postponement of the hearing is all the more good news for Epic and Apple since both companies feared that the hearing originally scheduled for November 2022 might not take place. Additionally, Epic had indicated they wanted the trial not to take place until mid-2023. Now, the lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games is set for March 2024, about two years away. The trial between the publisher and Google does not yet have a specific date, but Judge Nye Perram explains that the two companies have agreed that it will not take place before the end of 2023 – beginning of 2024. Rest now to see how the business will develop between now and then in other regions of the world. In any case, it has experienced several twists and turns between the appeals and the verdicts rendered by judges.

The App Store allows external links for Spotify, Netflix, Hulu…

Last year, Apple announced an update coming to the App Store in early 2022 that would allow developers of “player” apps to include an embedded link to their website for authoring and account management. The update will allow developers of “player” apps to include an embedded link on their website for users to create or manage an account. Although the agreement was reached with the JFTC, Apple will apply this change globally to all reading apps in the store. Reading apps provide previously purchased content or content subscriptions for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video.

To ensure a safe and seamless user experience, App Store guidelines require developers to sell digital services and subscriptions using Apple’s built-in payment system. Since developers of reading apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase, Apple has agreed with the JFTC to allow developers of these apps to share a unique link to their website to help users to set up and manage their account. While in-app purchases through the App Store commerce system remain the most secure and trusted payment methods for users, Apple will also help reader app developers protect users when linking them to a site. External web to make purchases.

The reader app change will affect many of Apple’s biggest competitors, including Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and more, with the change applying to all “Reader” apps globally.

According to a recent report by Data.ai, among entertainment apps, the OTT (streaming TV) subgenre took the largest share of downloads and consumer spending globally, with more than 2.2 billion apps. downloads and $6.3 billion in consumer spending worldwide in 2021 – the latter representing a staggering 53% increase over the previous year. HBO Max, Disney+ and Crunchy Roll are the apps that drove the strongest growth in consumer spending in 2021.

The update

Play app developers can now request access to the external link account right. This right allows player apps to link to a website owned or operated by the developer, so users can create or manage their account outside of the app. Reading apps are apps that provide one or more of the following types of digital content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video) as a primary app feature. This is App Store Review guideline 3.1.3(a).

Apps that offer in-app purchases on iOS or iPadOS are not eligible to link for account creation and management on the web.

Link to web

You will need to start by filling out an application form. Apps that allow users to access digital content such as music or videos, but not as a primary functionality, are not considered playback apps and are not eligible for link count entitlement external. For example, a social networking application that allows users to stream audiovisual content is not eligible.