Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Defends Fortnite Battle Against Apple and Google

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has weighed in on the ongoing legal battle against Apple and Google. Fortnite is at the center of this dispute after Epic Games bypassed the mobile tech companies’ fees and added an option to pay Epic Games directly which resulted in Fortnite being booted from the mobile markets, but the way he frames it, it’s about more than just Fortnite. He echoed comments seen in the legal documents from Epic Games that said the push against Apple and Google is about freedoms for creators and consumers when installing and distributing apps.

Sweeney addressed the topic that’s grown exponentially in a short time within a thread on Twitter. He outlined the “basic level” of Epic’s argument and said the dispute is about defending rights, not just getting some special deal for the Fortnite creator that others wouldn’t have access to. For those who’ve criticized the whole debate and framed it as a company vs. company battle for more money, Sweeney said there’s nothing wrong with fighting about money in the first place when it comes to middlemen and where money is distributed.

The thread of Sweeney’s comments can be seen in full below.

“At the most basic level, we’re fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly.

“The primary opposing argument is: ‘Smartphone markers can do whatever they want’. This as an awful notion. We all have rights, and we need to fight to defend our rights against whoever would deny them. Even if that means fighting a beloved company like Apple.

“Another argument against supporting #FreeFortnite is ‘this is just a billion dollar company fighting a trillion dollar company about money’. But the fight isn't over Epic wanting a special deal, it's about the basic freedoms of all consumers and developers.

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“Finally, there's nothing wrong with fighting about money. You work hard to earn this stuff. When you spent it, the way it's divided determines whether your money funds the creation of games or is taken by middlemen who use their power to separate gamers from game creators.”

Since filing suit against Apple first and then Google afterwards, Epic Games has turned to the community to state its case with things like the #FreeFortnite message referenced above. It also released a video parodying one of Apple’s famous ads for its company. The swiftness of this video’s release and the suits that followed Fortnite’s removal from the app markets showed that Epic Games prepared for all this ahead of time with many saying the company baited Apple and Google into taking action so that they could respond.