Valve was ordered to release four years of sales data for more than 400 games available on Steam, as part of Epic Games vs. Apple lawsuit.
Apple had previously asked Valve for six years of their sales data, any discounts and when they were available on Steam. They claim this information “It is crucial to calculate the total market size of the digital devices available from Epic distribution channels, which this Court has already considered of great relevance for this case ”.
Valve rejected this request, as they did not keep such records, 99% of the 30,000+ third-party games on Steam (including sensitive data), and it would require many hours of work to compile without compensation. Valve also stated that they did not compete in the mobile gaming space, making comparisons to the Epic Games Store and the App Store irrelevant to the case.
Apple narrowed its request to 436 games that are available on both Steam and the Epic Games Store. This data would still have included (as of 2015) all sales, price changes, gross revenue, and all revenue related to each version of those games and all digital content or items. Valve also rejected this, stating that Apple had not presented evidence that they needed it for their case.
Now, Law360 reports (via GamesIndustry.biz) that California Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson has ordered Valve to produce the documents; but reduced to the previous four years instead of six. He offered Valve some comfort with the comment. “Apple has salted the earth with subpoenas, so don’t worry, it’s not just you.”
As we previously reported, Epic Games announced that the price of V-Bucks, ForniteThe in-game currency that can be purchased for real money would be permanently 20% cheaper on all platforms. However, on Android and iOS, a new payment method was introduced.
Instead of buying the V-Bucks through the Google Play and App Store respectively, Epic Games launched the “direct payment from Epic”. “When you choose to use direct payments from Epic”, the ad explains, “You save up to 20% as Epic transfers the savings to you in processing payments.”
This is because Apple and Google charge a 30% fee across all V-Bucks purchased on their respective platforms. Therefore, the 20% drop has not been applied to purchases made through them. Epic Games states that “If Apple or Google lower their payment rates in the future, Epic will pass the savings over to you.”
Shortly after this announcement, Apple and Google removed Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play Stores respectively due to Epic Games violating their terms of service.
Epic Games issued legal action against both, citing that they had a monopoly on their stores on iOS and Android. Apple had allegedly threatened to terminate all developer accounts from the Epic Games App Store and cut off development tools on iOS and Mac.
However, Epic Games may have been expecting action from Apple, having made a parody of Apple’s own 1984 commercial; appealing to their fans to support them. Also, the #FreeFortnite Cup was announced.
Apple later accused Sweeney of asking for an exception to the App Store’s terms and conditions. Sweeney tweeted that Apple’s statement was misleading and featured screenshots of the alleged emails. Microsoft also filed a statement of support, favoring Epic Games.
In late August, Apple terminated Epic Games’ App Store developer account. This means that Epic Games will no longer be able to send new apps or updates to existing ones (such as the infinite shovel games).
Epic would successfully win a restraining order that month, denying that Apple removes Unreal Engine-based games from the App Store (thus harming developers who used the engine for their games). Later, Epic Games filed a court order requesting that Apple be banned. “taking any adverse action against Epic. “
In early September this year, Apple filed a counterclaim against Epic Games. There they asked for compensation and damages, claiming that Epic Games’ actions were “Little more than a robbery.” Both parties would later accept a trial with a judge, rather than a jury. That trial is scheduled for May 3, 2021.
Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers issued a preliminary injunction in October. Apple didn’t have to reinstall Fortnite in the app store, but they had a restraining order preventing them from revoking the developer tools from “Epic Affiliates;Like the ones that use Unreal Engine for their game.
Judge Gonzales Rogers later dismissed two of Apple’s claims in a November 10 hearing, including their claim that Epic Games committed theft. She told Apple attorney Anna Casey “You can’t just independently say it’s illegal. You really have to have facts. “
Sweeney recently sparked ire by comparing Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple to the civil rights movement. Epic Games also reportedly hired a lobbyist to propose a bill in North Dakota, which would allow alternative payment methods on the App Store and Google Play.
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