Epic Games goes to war, Embracer Group acquires 4A, more

AUGUST 14, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer for Friday, August 14th. Folks we are ending your week off today with an absolutely humongous story. Let’s do this.
So here’s the deal. Earlier today, Epic Games decided to make permanent discounts on their in-game currency for Fortnite, they’re called V-Bucks. However, the discount was only applicable if you purchased them using direct payment, meaning not going through any third party software like, for example, the Apple App Store. So if users wanted 1000 V-Bucks, they could pay $10 through the App Store, or $8 directly through Epic. Just for context, they did this because they are actively trying to avoid the 30% cut that companies like Apple take. Well, in response to that, Apple very quickly pulled Fortnite from the App Store, so it is no longer available there. Here’s what they said, “Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.” They went on to say that hey, we provide a service with the app store that Epic uses and benefits from, they shouldn’t get special treatment. By the way, it is worth noting here that Apple actually does give special treatment to a number of companies, like Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, but the gaming industry has largely been kept in line. Well, they may have pulled the game, but Epic was ready for that. Almost immediately they filed a complaint against Apple in the US District Court of California over the 30% cut. They aren’t doing it to get their money back though, or to get special treatment, they literally want to change Apple’s business. They call it an anti-trust and anti-competitive matter — basically, they want it to be fair for everyone. So this is pretty big, and I doubt that Apple is going to change anything, but its certainly a big thing that is happening. And I’ll end it here with a statement made in their complaint, “Fast forward to 2020, and Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation…Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.”
The Embracer Group, in natural Embracer Group fashion, has just acquired a whole bunch of studios. There’s probably only two of them that you’ve heard of though, the first is 4A Games, who made the Metro series. They are technically nested underneath Saber Interactive, one of the branches of Embracer, so that’ll be cool for that studio to have a little more support moving forward. They said that they will continue working on Metro, including some kind of multiplayer experience. Saber also picked up New World Interactive, who are the developers of the Insurgency games, which are these very tactical first person shooters. So pretty neat stuff, and the company is still doing well in their financials.
The first ever crossover for Fall Guys is officially happening with Team Fortress 2. If haven’t heard, Fall Guys has been making waves across the internet as the quintessential battle royale game. It has a very bright future, and I look forward to even more content heading that way.
For you retro gamers, Bethesda is giving away both Quake 2 and Quake 3 Arena for $0, they’re free to keep. You’re going to have to pick up Quake 2 somewhat soon, and then Quake 3 goes free on August 17th. That’s just on PC with the Bethesda Launcher, so you will need to download that, but hey, it’s a free game.