Judge Warns That Epic’s Lawsuit Against Apple May Have Consequences for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo

Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers of the District Court for the Northern District of California has warned that Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple could have “serious ramification” for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

For the uninitiated, Epic and Apple are engaged in a legal spat because of the latter’s 30 percent fees that Epic argues is extortionate. Following an attempt to bypass Apple’s payment system, Fortnite was removed from the App Store. Epic has since taken Apple to court over what it calls a “tech monopoly.” However, Judge Rogers has pointed out that platform holders like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo operate similar “walled gardens,” and a legal decision in this case would have consequences for these companies as well.

Rogers said:

Indeed, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all operate similar walled gardens or closed platform models as Apple, whereby the hardware, operating system, digital marketplace, and IAPs are all exclusive to the platform owner.

Epic Games’ avers that the iOS platform is unique from other gaming devices. Specifically, Epic Games argues that gaming consoles and computers require electrical outlets and separate screens and thus lack capacity for mobile play, which demands portable, battery operated, and cellularly connected devices with built-in screens.

Yet, Epic Games repeatedly ignored discussion of gaming laptops, tablets, and the Nintendo Switch, all of which can be played in a mobile fashion. These devices could have significant overlap with the iOS platform in terms of the ultimate consumer.

Rogers added that a final decision will take into account the impact of the walled garden model.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]