A dispute between a Apple it’s at Epic Games, which started last year continues to roll in US courts. And now, it’s left for another game company, Valve, the developer responsible for the Steam game store.
The dispute started in August 2020, when the Apple removed the game from your app store Fortnite, symbol of success of billionaire gaming market. A removal happened after Epic Games, the company responsible for the development of the Fortnite, tried to circumvent the fees that Apple imposes on products sold in its store – currently 30% of the sale value. The removal of the game was followed by Google, which also removed the Fortnite from the Android store.
The fight then became more ugly: Epic sued Apple for anti-competitive practices, which revoked Epic Games developer licenses for breach of terms, making it impossible for the company to distribute its applications.
Now Apple has summoned Valve to appear in court with data on PC game sales, which it says are essential to its case against Epic. But Valve has no interest in the fight between the two companies and claims that their proprietary information, irrelevant to Apple’s case, and that it would be difficult and costly to generate that data.
According to Apple, the information is essential for the company to confirm its point that it is possible to distribute the game Fortnite outside of the Apple ecosystem and that there are “economic substitutes” for iOS.
Valve disagrees and says it has nothing to do with this dispute. “Valve does not make or sell smartphones, tablets, or video games for mobile devices, or in any way competes in the mobile market,” wrote the company, which states that Fortnite (in the PC version) is not available on Steam and that Epic has already made it clear that it will not offer the game on the platform until Valve has changed its business model – which works similarly to Apple’s, charging a developer fee for selling games in a centralized store.
Steam is an initiative recognized for making it easier to purchase games for computers, especially when it was difficult to find and download games reliably.
Unlike smartphones, where the stores of the developers of the operating systems – Play Store from Google and Android; Apple and iOS App Store – guaranteed security to download apps and games, Microsoft has never centralized this on Windows, for example, and it has always been a problem to find out where to download games safely.
Third-party stores, such as Steam, and even Epic Games’ own store, partly solved this problem, centralizing game distribution around an easy-to-use tool, with financial support and security.