As the trial that faces Apple and Epic Games progresses, we are getting to know new and very interesting data from both companies, in part of how they prepare their exposition of the facts, of course, but also of many internal movements of recent years (today we have even heard of communications in which Steve Jobs participated, so the history is not wasted), that we help to understand how we got to the current situation.
One of the most interesting findings has to do, without a doubt, with Epic Games’ actions before the storm broke. And, as we already told you at the time, Epic published an update of its app for iOS and Android with its own payment channel to avoid Apple’s in-app payments, Apple withdrew Fornite from the App Store, and around one An hour later, the developer had already sued Apple and started a communication campaign against those from Cupertino and projecting an image of a company that fought for freedom.
The short reaction time by Epic Games invited us to think, already at the time, that everything was an operation planned by the company, that the withdrawal of Fornite from the App Store was not a surprise and, what is more, that it was possible that everything was a huge provocation. Last month, we finally had confirmation that this was the case, that Epic Games had been preparing this “coup” for some time, in a campaign to relaunch the popularity of Fornite.
Today we know, by The Verge, that Epic Games’ plans went further, and that they even wanted to involve Microsoft, without the Redmond’s knowledge of it, to make their campaign even louder. And is that Tim Sweeney reportedly pressured Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, to open the free multiplayer mode on its platform coinciding with the launch of the new season of Fornite. Yes, exactly, the season that the app also brought with its own payment system.
In some emails that have been made public, the CEO of Epic Games lhe told Spencer they were preparing a bombshell that he still couldn’t tell herBut that it would be ideal if online play in free Xbox games no longer required an Xbox Live Gold subscription, something that was also a historic claim from the community. And it is that the Microsoft console was the only device in which it was essential to pay a subscription (to Microsoft, of course) to be able to play Fornite.
The answer, very sensible, on the part of the person in charge of Xbox, was that indeed that change was in their plans, but not for the dates in which the CEO claimed it from Epic Games, in August of last year. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a price hike for Xbox Live Gold, but the response from the community was so negative that they were forced to quickly back down and announce that they were already preparing the platform. so that the multiplayer mode of titles such as Fornite could be accessed, free of charge.
It seems clear, therefore, that Epic Games’ plans were that, with the launch of the new season of Fornite, Microsoft made the online mode free and, at the same time, Apple expelled them from its app store. One more sample that nothing of what happened has been accidental, and that Epic Games had very well measured the steps, something that can go against them, not so much in court, as in the court of public opinion.