See how things are…
to great Epic Gameswhich filed a lawsuit against the Apple claiming to be a defender of freedom and the user’s right to choose, is being fined in the United States for not being fair to its own consumers.
According to the FTC, Federal Trade Comissionthe players of Fortnite are being misled into making unwanted purchases.
In addition, the company would also not be respecting the law protecting the privacy of children’s rights, COPPA.
A farce by Epic Games
It’s worth remembering that in 2020 Epic started an aggressive campaign against Apple, to try to overthrow the 30% commission that Apple charges in its app store.
Epic has forced a ban on its most famous game, purposefully breaking App Store rules.
And when it happened, she already had a publicity video ready to release, showing her as the advocate for user freedom.
At the same time, she filed a lawsuit for being kicked out of the store, even though she deliberately breached the contract she signed with Apple.
In all of her communications, she claimed that Apple just wanted to wipe out the competition by “forcing” the payment of “an absurd fee” of 30%.
And the “poor” Epic was yet another victim, who was standing up against a giant to defend the consumer’s right to free choice!
How beautiful! How proud to see companies like this, willing to fight for us against Apple’s tyranny!!! The important thing is to defend the common ideal!
Abuse of user data
But the truth unfortunately was otherwise. As I always say here, “It’s all about money”.
What the rigidity of the App Store bothers many companies is not the 30% commission (which is also charged by Microsoft, Nintendo, Stream, etc.) protect user privacy.
When you install an app on your iPhone and make in-app purchases, the developer doesn’t know who you are.
There’s no way he could know your name, your email, your address, your card number, nothing. And without that, how will he SPAM you to buy more?
When placing your app on the App Store, the developer cannot try to deceive the user, nor use their personal data for other purposes.
Yes, the App Store is boring. Apple assumes the role of guardian of your data, not passing them on to anyone.
Should she have that guardian role? I don’t know and I don’t even want to go into this subject here. However, Epic has just shown us what the world is like without any guardians.
The FTC fined Epic $275 million for collecting data from children under 13 without explicit parental consent.
And it doesn’t stop there: there is also a second fine, of US$ 245 million, for presenting an interface that induces the consumer to click on internal purchases and then makes it difficult to request a refund.
Epic Games creator of the video game Fortnite, to pay a total of $520 million over FTC allegations Epic violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and deployed dark patterns to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases: https://t.co/yHaQx8VXlu
— FTC (@FTC) December 19, 2022
According to the FTC, Epic used deceptive design strategies called dark patterns (dark patterns🇧🇷 Players could be charged when resuming the Fortnite from rest mode, when he was on a loading screen or accidentally clicking a button next to an item view option.
This would have led consumers to pay “hundreds of millions of dollars in unauthorized charges“.
I want your money, stupid
In the end, it looks like the real reason Epic Games no longer wants Apple to control what it does is being revealed.
It’s not even so much the 30%, because even with that commission the company made a lot of money off of iPhone users. However, being able to manipulate your users the way you want, without any control, to guarantee extra “hundreds of millions of dollars” does not seem to be a bad deal.
Then you have to pay some fines? Okay, you pay, but the profit continues.
There are a lot of scoundrel companies raising important flags like “right to choose“, “freedom of expression“, distorting goals that would be noble, but with very obscure purposes.
So beware when you hear some speech like that. Because it’s possible that they’re just trying to manipulate you to make them even richer.