TNW 146: Epic Games vs. Apple

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What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!


currently watching this episode while typing this out.

with regards to SIM-jacking, this was something that was quite common in my country when we started using simcards for our mobile phones. Right now it is nearly-impossible to do so as the would-be sim-jacker requires the victim’s identification card and fingerprint (if done at a telco’s store) or the victim’s face (if done online)

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Why can’t Apple just say Epic if you want to avoid the app store fee then create a web version of your game and have users access the game through a browser that is available to either iOS user now? Epic has more than enough resources to market a web based version of their game when combined 5G infrastructure gamer will likely have as good of an experience as being a native app.

The app store is a virtual mall that requires services to maintain and protect all apps listed in the store. Apps benefit from Apples security and access to users

Just reinvent your entire product… sure why not. Just make a car that can fly so you don’t have to pay road tolls.

More interesting would be Epic makes the Unreal Engine. Perhaps they retroactively disallow its use on any Apple product past or present unless Apple licenses it for $20T. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If Epic that, it would just provide incentive for cash rich Apple to create or buy a Unreal Engine that is optimized for their new chips resulting in 1000’s apps dropping real engine to stay in the app store.

Apparently Apple doesn’t want quality 3rd party games on its platforms… this will not go well for them… it’s hugely anti-competitive

This implies that it’s even possible to build a game of that caliber in Safari. It would also lose a ton of functionality (push notifications, etc).

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That’s exactly why Epic should pay the 30%. It could spend the savings optimizing its game to operate from a browser or it could pay a fee to have its game optimized for iOS, Epic is free to choose either way.

No one’s stopping Epic from avoiding the app store entirely by optimizing its game for a mobile browser. Given the fact that 5G will soon be a reality everywhere, it wouldn’t be a bad bet that its mobile users could have low latency game play via a browser. In fact, could flip the switch and license a optimized Unreal Engine for browsers allowing other apps and games to deliver services via a web UI.

@Atomisis you clearly don’t know anything about building games or using game engines. Trying to build a Triple-A game in a browser is about as intelligent as trying to build a tank out of wood planks. It could be done, but you’re going to look like a moron doing it.

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I sincerely doubt that it will be that ubiquitous anytime soon, not to mention mmwave vs Sub6.

In fact, could flip the switch and license a optimized Unreal Engine for browsers allowing other apps and games to deliver services via a web UI.

You still wouldn’t get the same hardware optimizations. Safari just doesn’t allow you to do it. You need APIs with low level hardware support. Those don’t exist outside of native apps.

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You just made my point, that’s exactly why Epic should pay the 30%. If Epic totaled what they pay Apple, is it more than what it would take to create a native Fornite browser game and could they convert base iOS gamers to browser based UI? My guess is no, so Epic should shut up and pay the fee until:

  • Banked enough to develop a browser based Unreal engine
  • Until 5G networks have grown enough to provide low latency connectivity
  • Phone processor power has increased to the games requirements
  • They create a license model that’ll attract game developers to use their engine to create browser based games generate revenue outside the app store

@Atomisis you’re not making sense. Epic HAS made a Unreal Engine. They offer it to 3rd party developers so they can make AAA games for many platforms, two of which are (or were) Apple OSX and iOS. This is nothing specific about Fortnite, other than it also uses the Unreal Engine.

As for why they would make a special version of anything just for Apple products, they shouldn’t and they wont. Playing in a browser is already done with things like Stadia, but it requires the browser engine to support more powerful functionality which Safari doesn’t offer.


Chrome runs on iOS so running a optimized unreal engine via Chrome could work, but again it comes back to risk vs reward. In less two than weeks, Epic is going realize they made a big mistake. If Epic fails to get an injunction keeping Apple from pulling access to their developer tools, developers around will wondering why Epic would choose now to pick a fight with Apple.

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I think we have a fundamental misunderstanding of a what a game engine is, specifically what Unreal is. The Unreal engine cannot be run within a web browser, not in it’s entirety. It requires lower level access to system hardware that a web browser is not designed to provide.

You’re suggesting that, given enough money and talent, Epic would be able to port the Unreal engine to run in a web browser, which is a faulty premise.


Then just use Firefox, Chrome or Edge

I believe he mentioned Safari specifically because we’re talking about iOS, but the same goes for any browser engine. Browser engines are designed to render web pages and associated multimedia content, not the more intense 3D graphics and associated effects that game engines are.


Understood, just pointing out that iOS does not mean only Safari

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No, Chrome doesn’t run on iOS, it is a Chrome shell around the Safari engine. Apple don’t allow non-Safari browsers to use their own native rendering engines, they have to use Apple’s, which means you have the same restrictions that Safari has, regardless of which “browser” you use on iOS.

Although as @knewman stated, that is irrelevant anyway, you couldn’t run something like the Unreal Engine in any current browser. Things like Stadia run the actual game in the cloud and only stream the graphical output from the cloud virtual machine through the browser.


As @big_D points out below, iOS requires the use of the Webkit engine. So the iOS apps for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc. are still using the same foundation as Safari.


I’d like Apple to charge slightly less to developers. I’d like them to show less favoritism towards their own services. I’d like them to be more transparent and to improve their culture with regards to how they interact with consumers, partners, developers, etc. I don’t want regulators to crack open iOS and force other app stores; I prefer Apple to maintain the app store and control over apps, but I want them to administer that more fairly.
These are my personal preferences. I will not try to build some kind of a legal/regulatory framework to justify or prosecute them.