While I was in Barcelona, I began writing this article, which includes a square dedicated to George Orwell, the author of Homage to Catalonia and 1984. The latter book is a reminder of the totalitarian society that might arise if we allow one person to excess power. This isnt true for just politicians and governments, but is also true for technology and gaming. I see the warnings he offered us as significant as ever.
In its famous 1984 television commercial, Apple described the Macintosh computer as a counterforce to IBM''s dismalness. Openness and freedom should rule over closed ecosystems or walled gardens and corporate greed.
Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, brought the beauty of this imagery back to Apple''s favor in August 2020, but the case is still proceeding through the courts, and Epic has filed another appeal against the courts decision. Epic wants reversals on the lower courts'' arguments.
So the question still remains: What exactly happened while I was in Barcelona, why was this legal litigation between corporations interesting because it is a confrontation for consumers between a huge tech platform owner, Apple, and an enormous developer on the platform, Epic Games. While I was in Spain, I decided to use the time to zoom in on some of the facts and zoom out to see the big picture. I cant say that I have all of the answers, but I am confident that the facts will unfold in the drama we have, and I intend to
On October 3-4, MetaBeat will bring together metaverse thought leaders in order to show how metaverse technology will transform the way all industries communicate and do business.
Tim Sweeney, an Epic CEO, believes that he was on the verge of making significant changes to the platforms transitioning from app stores and distribution platforms to the age of the metaverse, where virtual worlds exist, according to reports. According to reports, the metaverse will cost up to $13 trillion by 2030, and it will show how significant the metaverse will be, and why it matter who controls it.
Sweeney believes that tech firms should rule the metaverse, because they will be able to extract their royalty fees when someone buys something on its App Store from the developers. This is exactly how a car manufacturer is charged a fee every time you gas up your vehicle, according to Epic. Technologists fear that walled gardens like Apple or Meta or Microsoft or Google will rule the metaverse.
Apple and Google have created terms that will give them a stranglehold over the metaverse if there are significant modifications in their practices, according to Sweeney in a statement.
These businesses argue that openness is beneficial and that they want to treat everyone fairly. Do we believe them?
If Epic rallies enough people developers, regulators, legislators, and technology companies to their cause, we must also tighten antitrust enforcement.
Apple is planning a cool AR/VR technology that takes on Metas virtual reality and augmented reality applications. For Apple, developers will get rich making apps for it. According to those who believe that innovation and capitalism are working in our favor, Apple should be rewarded for its investment and the risks it took in designing the iPhone platform. It does not believe that the courts should strip it of the rewards for its intellectual property.
Epic claims that it''s been a long time since Apple did anything for us on its mobile devices, including the iPhone and App Store, and that the federal government, in its brief this week, was wrong. She claimed that Apple''s antitrust laws and case history indicated that Apple fell short of violating a lot of laws.
Apple violated California''s anti-steering laws in that particular part. The judge said the company was acting in an anti-competitive manner when it prohibited developers from declaring within their App Store apps that they had higher price tag on their own websites. That said, the judge said the company should not prohibit developers from concealing information about better discounts from its users.
Epic lost a major hurdle as it claimed that Apple should allow users to sideload apps on the Apple platform, which allows them to redirect players so they may avoid paying for the platform. I believe that Apple has enabled the best apps to rise to the top of the app store, and those apps havent infected us with malware. Epic supports that Apple should find a compromise in which some form of notarization of sideloaded apps would make them more acceptable.
The world''s judges, regulators, and legislators would be able to view the risks of new technologies and platforms such as the metaverse. They would be able to act to stop these dangers, preserve competition and enable equitable relationships to blossom between developers and those who enable them to reach large markets. These would hinder Apple from using its hold on a billion smartphone users to only use its app store and payment system, according to Sweeney.
I think gaming companies like Epic, Roblox, and Microsoft (with Minecraft) are better equipped than the big tech companies to offer people with real experiences. Brands would likely side with Epic as they pave the way in this brave new world.
Alternative app stores will gain traction, developer fees may fall, and Apple''s payment limit might be broken. These cost reductions and efficiency gains might be transferred to consumers in the form of reduced prices, or they might be transferred to developers, making them more healthy in the long term. That would benefit the entire gaming industry.
Hundreds of years of case law have strung the judge. Legislators are clueless when it comes to considering important new technologies and the balance act that occurs between enabling competition and rewarding innovation. This case might not be the perfect one that gains confidence between platforms and developers.
Epic Games may prevail only by winning in the marketplace, perhaps by bringing something that is even more desirable than Fortnite, announcing it. Or other entities, such as the forces of decentralization behind crypto and blockchain games, might disrupt the status quo, take some advantage of both developers and platforms, and give it back to the public.
Who would win in the fight for the metaverse? I believe it will be the company that performs the finest combined job with game development, user-generated content, and machine learning. Right now, Microsoft might be the leader in all of those things, and it will be stronger if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through. However, no one organization has a lock on all of those things right now.
If I was to ask George Orwell what he might consider would happen here, and what would be best for the rest of the world, I wonder what he would say. However, I do believe that this metaverse battle is one of the most important obstacles of our time.