Epic started a legal battle with both Google and Apple over the 30% fee they take from all sales and in-app transactions, meaning those companies get 30% of whatever Epic makes from games like Fortnite. Epic feels this is unfair, yet they pay the same amount to Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft for in-game transactions on their respective platforms. Today, Epic has explained their reasoning.

During the Epic Vs. Google trial, Epic’s chief financial officer Randy Gelber offered a very straightforward answer as to why they believe Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft’s 30% cut is justified while Google and Apple are overreaching.

“We believe those [consoles] to be competitive markets and we believe that the fee, their cost structure, is entirely different than a mobile app store. …they subsidize hardware, so they sell their hardware, as far as I can tell from widely published reports, at a loss, and so the fee needs to cover that. Mobile apps are typically low in size and so their costs are higher, and I think their customer service costs are higher because people don’t call Google about apps, they call the developer generally.”

[Epic's chief financial officer Randy Gelber]

Whether that argument holds any water is up to the judge, and there’s still a lot of time left ahead in this legal battle. We’ll keep an eye on the matter and let you know of the ruling once it’s made.

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Comments (4)


6M ago

Nintendo actually earns money on Switch sales. From what I read some time ago even more than on games sales.


6M ago

That’s definitely an argument, although a flimsy one at best. Might as well give it a shot though, I don’t blame them for trying.


6M ago

Not an expert on these legal matters, but I have to imagine there’s a PR angle. The public is more inclined to like game platforms than general tech platforms, while gamers are a defensive bunch who are more likely to get behind a game company when they’re taking on an “outside” target. Doesn’t invalidate or bolster the points they’re making either way.


6M ago

Customers contacting Nintendo's support instead of the developer is a good point. I can't really contact Arc System Works when my Double Dragon IV game cannot connect for co-op online. This still has not been fixed, by the way.