It has not been an easy rise for game makers, now that Microsoft has shown its initial hand, now it is time for some of the game makers to show theirs. It starts with “Apple and Google both removed the hit game from their app stores after Epic Games bypassed their payment systems, to avoid giving them a cut of sales”, I get the sentiment, and the BBC article ‘Fortnite: Epic Games sues Google and Apple over app store bans’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53777379) gives part of it. We got some of the other side in the GamesRadar article that I discussed in ‘the Silent reason’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/13/the-silent-reason/) where I gave “Xbox Game Pass is the next generation of Microsoft gaming, not Xbox Series X”, in this we see the start of the big players to set a new generation of GaaS, Games as a Service is the next thing and it allows Microsoft to set another revenue bar, it is the one realisation on top of the other ones that made me give up on Microsoft and now the larger players are using GaaS to gain revenue. In this, I have nothing against the approach that Epic is making, even as I am not a Fortnite fan, it is a free game and as such it has every right to make this approach, yet Google and Apple will not be left out of any revenue loop. Gpay and Apple Pay are their own devices and they have a stage and it requires their view or perhaps the stage is their vision on the services offered. I am not sure how to react, in favour or against the ban laid on Epic, but both the Google store and the Apple store have their own rules and the idea that Epic circumvents the stores might be seen as optionally cheaper to the player, but the downside is that as third parties get their own direct access, their store access becomes available to come under fire and that is not a good thing.
The article gives us “Fortnite’s latest update offered all players a 20% discount on its in-game currency V-bucks – but only if they paid Epic Games directly rather than using Apple or Google’s payment systems. This broke rules applied by both stores”, The danger of a third party is something neither Google or Apple find appealing and I feel certain that their fees avoided is equally unappealing to them. And lets be clear, as GaaS evolves over the next 2 years, we will see the players exposed to all kinds of ‘direct from the source’ deals, because it allows the gathering of data and data is more revenue for whomever has it. The problem as I see it is not the fact that there is GaaS, the fact is that the stage will be overwhelmingly younger players. Even as 63% of Fortnite is 18-24, there is a stage where there are supposed to be 12-18 year old players and there are supposed to be a large following of them too, yet the toppling charts I saw does not reflect them properly, in light of 350,000,000 players I wonder how large that 12-18 group is and even as it is not their credit card, someone is paying that bill (most likely their mommy), yet that stage also gives Google and Apple a larger concern and I reckon that they are programming the stores to raise all kinds of red flags before they fall in a trap that is not unlike the one Electronic Arts is facing with their loot boxes. In all this there is a lull in the life of the lawmakers, GaaS is new, so new that most laws are riddled with holes and that is not a good thing. A lot needs to happen to bind and limit financial institutions from allowing gamers to be used and exploited. Now let me be clear I do not believe that loot boxes are gambling, in that same stage I believe that Epic Games has done nothing wrong, but consider other games that pushes for additional movements and choices that come at a price, whilst their algorithm is set to always set the bar at your effort +1% (speaking figuratively), so how is that fair? I reckon that Google and Apple are set against that stage (whilst getting their own grains of revenue) and that is perhaps not the worst idea, yet I see the other side too, especially as Fortnite is free to play, to gain the upper hand you can buy V-bucks to buy loot boxes and skins. It is one way to get the income, it is of course a risk, but knowing you have 350 million fans, the stage is set in a decent way and when you consider that they made $1.9 billion in 2019 gives rise to the GaaS platform. It is a platform that does allow for more than one game to be part of it and that is what players like Microsoft are hoping for, I reckon that Apple and Google are on that same train. And it is there that we see the balancing act that both Google and Apple face. It is appealing to lock the door to players like Epic Games, but they are not alone and over time, other options will become available, of that I am absolutely certain