An Opportunity for App Developers?

Many in the mobile application space will have been paying close attention to the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, at to a lesser extent, Google too. Whilst September and October brought a lot of big updates to the ongoing legal dispute, November had been a little quieter on that front, however there had been one huge announcement from Apple.

As it stands, any purchase made on a title through the app store holds a 30% tax that is paid to Apple, and this has been the crux of the argument from Epic Games suggesting the 30% is far too high – this cost may also be a reason why many other genres aren’t represented on these marketplaces as the losses to this tax would be far too high – the big suggested genre here is within mobile casinos, the biggest operators such as are often represented through their own dedicated site with few if any being on any of the big marketplaces, but if change is made it could encourage some to move.

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It appears that in some regard at least, that change is on the way. Apple have since announced that in 2021, any title that receives revenues of less than $1 million per year will now only be expected to pay 15% instead of the 30%, and certainly shows progress in the case. It has been cited that the change may have been in a response to the newest Epic lawsuit, which to some shows there may be some grounds for the claims being made, but also means that it does leave the door open for further changes down the line. If there’s a willingness to cut fees in half, then why not go all the way and waive fees for certain titles all together? This will no doubt be part of any upcoming argument made in a bid to see these higher fees scrapped.

There’s certainly still a long way to go however, it is expected that this lawsuit will be drawn out for as long as possible as each try to gain leverage over the other, and whilst some of Epics request have been denied, it does seem as if others have landed, even if not officially. There are still some that will be looking to Google and any reaction there, from the very start of the legal issues, Google has remained relatively quiet and has been happy to sit back and watch Apple and Epic fight it out, and it may be easy to forget that the Android platform was a huge part of this disagreement too with similar marketplace rules – if one has changed, then it may be expected the other does too, and any ruling made against Apple would realistically be made against Google too – not matching the change to the 30% tax though, Google have still managed to slip under the radar and go largely ignored by those watching the changes, but this may surely change in the near future.