Tag Archives: Epic Games

Warrior Women Librarians

Yup, it is about the Amazon tribe, the one that is managed by no one less than Jeff Bezos. They caught my eyes twice today (well once was at 01:34 roughly), so I decided to take another look. First the second story, it was an opinion piece in the New York Times called ‘Don’t Let Amazon Get Any Bigger’. The article (at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/08/opinion/amazon-antitrust.html) gives us “the evidence presented this week in a long report by the House Judiciary Committee, following a bipartisan investigation of the tech giants, tells a very different story. Amazon’s website forms a choke point through which other companies must pass to reach the market. It has exploited this commanding position to strong-arm other companies, control their means of distribution and drive them out of business”, I am on the fence here. In the first no one was interested in Amazon, now that they have traction everyone is crying foul. It’s like watching gangs cry like little bitches because they aren’t getting scraps, all whilst they forgot that in a library a 9mm is not of much use, a book on the Dewey Decimal Classification is. If I have a firm, I do not give wannabe’s access to my IP, if they do not have their own, they miss out, it is that simple, no matter what size I have. And for the longest time, we see certain firms getting called out, all whilst the grandfathers of this approach (Microsoft and IBM) are given leeways and passes on a non-stop foundation, or perhaps the whinging members of the House Judiciary Committee would like to have a deep conversation in the IBM dealing with NATO, its members and their system 36 (or was that their system 38) approach on ‘distribution’ in 1978-1980, I feel certain that former members of the Digital Equipment Corporation, as well as those of Hewlett Packard would like their day in Congress asking direct questions on certain non-outspoken choices. 

A small sidestep that has little (not nothing) bearing on Amazon. Amazon has grown, it has grown dramatically, but it was founded on the stage of an online bookshop. A dream the became a behemoth and Jeff Bezos does have some reason of pride. To be honest, I am not much of an Amazon fan, I have nothing against them and I see that there are places that benefit greatly of their presence, yet just like I prefer my local hooker, I am determined to support my local bookshop and local retail outlets, that is how I roll. It is the first article that I saved for last that has the larger frame of becoming an issue.

It is not the article I initially saw, yet ‘Yes, Amazon Luna dodges Apple’s cloud gaming rules — when will Nvidia and Google?’ (At https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/25/21455343/amazon-luna-apple-app-store-rules-cloud-gaming-streaming-google-nvidia) that is the larger issue. You see, it is not bout being naughty or about going rule dodging. It is seen in “Amazon Luna on iOS is not a traditional app. It’ll never appear in the App Store, and it doesn’t need to”, did you catch on yet? No? OK, let add “it’s a progressive web app (PWA), which is mostly a fancy name for a website that you can launch and run separately from the rest of your web browser. Engadget says it can even appear as an icon on your home screen, making it look like a normal app before you tap it”, I get it if you are still in the dark, so let continue the tory, The verge also had something I did not know before, they give us “Streaming games are permitted so long as they adhere to all guidelines — for example, each game update must be submitted for review, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search, games must use in-app purchase to unlock features or functionality, etc. Of course, there is always the open Internet and web browser apps to reach all users outside of the App Store”, so even as the Verge is wondering when Google and Microsoft will catch on, the larger danger remains. 

This for organised crime is a dream come true, and anyone denying or countering it is a blatant fool. A system the can reside in RAM and sets a stage of multiple systems is the holy grail. For the most as it was all system based, there was no real issue, if things did get wrong, one player is held accountable and it tends to end there, now there is a new stage where one system could open a gateway to basically rob you. Now, you are unlikely to lose a lot $1 at the most, so you might not wake up, but when this happens to well over a million players the amount tends to add up and organised crime (as well as entrepreneurial criminals) love that part, becoming wealthy as they sleep and when the system resets, the evidence is gone. No indications of long doing and the justice systems tend to not engage when the stolen amount is less than $5, so there is that, the interested parties could double their income overnight. But in the long term a person could lose $12-$50 over a year and they might not care or even realise this, but when this is done to 20-50 million people it all ends up being a serious amount of money.

A stage where we all watch things happen all whilst nothing will be done, the ego driven will Tate that it is under investigation, and deny wrongdoings, the secondary stage where some careful phrased denial in the some shape that gives us “We have seen no wrong by we are adding safeties just in case” and the jurisprudential parts that give us, it seemingly is a small crime and involved events of less than $5 the we do not investigate and the clever entrepreneur will walk away with millions upon millions of dollars, the is the stage and greed driven technologists thought they were allegedly clever by allowing a stage where a speculated stage of mis acquisition was an optional reality.

A stage the is increasingly dangerous because it is not merely Google, it I a sage where Epic Games, as well as any other set the stage of avoiding fees from whatever source they owe it to, only to set a much more dangerous stage, one the the cyber crime finals love and one the will all cost us, seemingly not a lot, but enough to make others wealthy beyond their dreams.

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A coin with 2 sides of greed

This morning started out alright, I was still pondering on what I had wrote yesterday and I still stand by it. Any voices on complexity are not dimmed, the issue is larger than I wrote about it, but to take the full scope makes the matter too complex, I was all about oversimplification, as that tends to show things, but it also polarises any view (including mine). This is what was in my mind when the news on Proton-mail and Andy Yen hit me. You see the moment any firm goes into some preaching stage of ‘App Fairness’ mode, the hairs in my neck tend to rise to the occasion. Now, those who read my blog regularly will have seen that I have no issue slapping the big boys silly whenever I can. So like the proverbial pitbull, I have had a mouthful of pants with Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft logo’s and a chunk of their asses. No matter how big they are, I do not pull my punches (much more fun the way), so let’s have a look at Andy Yen, actually, let’s do something else first, it helps you to understand the station where I am at.

In 2008 Apple launched the App store, initially with around 500 apps. Apple saw in the early days the third party developers would bring home the bacon, but in those years it was not easy being a developer. Those developing for windows had well over a decade of experience and in those days the Software Development Kit would cost a developer $1500, with the additional programming packages and consultancy lessons. So ANY developer would be out of pocket between $3,000 and $5,000 and they would not have anything to show for it. The cost would drastically increase when the program was ready, but the was for another time. So in those days Apple got clever about it and gave us “To publish apps on App Store, developers must pay a $99 yearly fee for access to Apple’s Developer Program”, now consider the first setting of $99 versus $3,000, a new stage that allowed the dreamers and the wickedly clever to publish without a setting of some bulk investment and there was another part, “The income app stores take is 30%. Apple started setting that as a standard – they weren’t the first, but the iOS app ecosystem has been used as a model by many other players in the mobile app space”, now consider the you are a small developer, selling your software will need servers, protection software, shopping kart software, income checkers and go on from that. Apple delivered a system that does it all, so the developer will only need to upload their readied product. Thousands of dollars saved and the small developers get an almost free ride and they pay later through every sale. 

This is beyond fair, because the one million programs that came in the first decade would evolve, these people had a second option. They would sell their program for $0.99-$5 and Apple merely takes 30% of the sale, 70% remains with the makers and that contribution setting was already in play with software houses from the 90’s, yet those programs were often $299-$999. A mobile with the option of programs costing less than $5 are more easily sold and these makers suddenly made thousands of dollars, most of them massively happy. In that same light under Microsoft these developers would never exist. The cost of being up and running would strip all revenue away. As such Apple (and Google too) would create a wave of people creating the thousands of dollars to fuel the system would basically be paid for by the more successful players in this field.

So when I see the headline ‘Why we joined the Coalition for App Fairness’, I merely see a greed driven non-truth that is (as I personally see it) fuelled by greed.

So now the you have some of the background, we see the real deal, people like Epic Games and Proton-mail, they had an idea and they used that system to get ahead, which is nice for them, yet now, now that they made it, they want to avoid fees, they want the 30% that they initially signed up for as well. It is basically the same with Epic Games, once they made the numbers, their success went to their heads and they are now fishing (or is that phishing) for the 30% they signed up for? They want to avoid the apple fee and for one player it makes sense, yet this system was designed so that the small players would get a chance to become big, a stage that many faced. So when I see these ‘displays of fairness’ I merely see greed driven players merely wanting more.

The setting is however larger. The quote “First, to be clear, our mission at Proton is to foster an open, free, private, and secure internet. We exist today because a large community of people agree with these goals and support our work. Helping to found CAF does not in any way signal a deviation from these core values. Proton will always remain fiercely protective of our independence in order to put user interests first” gets to be ripped to shreds when we see “to foster an open, free, private, and secure internet”, yes they do have a free option, but it is limited, which might be fair enough, their goal is to be ready for the 4.00 € and 24.00 € a month users, whilst their free accounts are limited, the paying ones are driving this and so far they got 10 million people in their accounts, I am not aware how many constitutes free accounts.

Another point was “Our purpose for joining CAF is not about advancing the goals of Spotify and Epic, but about making sure that you, our community, have a voice in this important debate”, is the so? I find it debatable, for the simple reason that we are also handed “ProtonMail is run by Proton Technologies AG, a company based in the Canton of Geneva, and its servers are located at two locations in Switzerland, outside of US and EU jurisdiction”, whilst this sounds nice, outside of jurisdictions comes at a price and one could argue the organised crime finds the approach appealing, as do some people the want to avoid data accountability, but for the most, I am on the fence of how reliable data safety outside of jurisdictions tend to be (I am not making any statement on the security they run). So the app store has them as a free app, which implies that they are free, but they offer ‘Offers In-App Purchases’, and their own Twitter account gives us “We actually don’t understand the significance of paid account here? ProtonMail doesn’t offer in app purchases on Android, so purchases need to be made through our Swiss website”, and there is the kicker, they want it via their own website to avoid the 30%, exactly how Epic Games set it up, once they have the foundation of users, they want to avoid Apple (and/or Google) fees. 

I need to admit that Andy Yen is in a slightly different setting (as is Epic Games). You see, he started with the backing through kick-starters and ended up with a beginning capital of $500K, 5 times of what they needed to get started, a lot do not have that option, which I admit is not the stage that Andy Yen cares about (yet he claims the opposite), we get it, but when we see ‘a better internet that puts people first’, we need to realise the this was exactly what Apple did (Google too), by setting the contribution cycle almost EVERY developer had their chance at stardom, and whilst we see ‘free app’, how many people would have taken it up when the app had to be bought at $9.99, or $19.99? You forget that if we avoid the contribution cycle, we see the the funds need to be found somewhere, do they not? You really cannot get it both ways and for the most the contribution cycle is the most fair, because it is only taken from actual sales, so the newbies get to be there for free or for nothing (or both), and the big players basically pay for the little people.

Consider that and the fact that there is a price for being able to chose from 1.75 million app on a store. If that setting did not exist these store would end up having well over a million apps less. And this year, in the covid year, there is suddenly the need to avoid paying because the investors need to be appeased. As I personally see it greed is the final equaliser against choice, because these players want to be the only provider and the current stage allows new developers deploy their system, optionally a real innovative one, but they get a to because the costs of starting are not there, not like it was anyway.

Happy now?

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A new road

We all have new roads, some roads are completely new, some are ‘sort of’ new. We tend to like the ‘sort of’ new roads as they feel more familiar, but it does not imply the this is the best road. This is the way we move forward. In all this, how does one react when we go towards a road we have never seen before? Consider the stage the this is not some adventure, it is a choice of life, a choice that impacts one’s life to the latest degree, do we feel as certain? 

As some are in a stage where they are considering that President Trump could optionally die of Covid before the next election, we see that this is perhaps the weirdest years we face in half a century. In the UK we see lockdowns with a 5 minute warning, now the is one way to change the settings of any game, yet is it wise? It is in the same direction that others face, a new road, different decisions, but is it all really new? We could call all the plays in the international scene, but we have seen it before, it is a play based upon a play that is old and stale. Even now as the EU wants to limit the apps Apple and Google put on phones, it is merely a variant of Internet Explorer V3 all over again, the greed driven will never learn. So whilst we get informed on “Draft rules would force the tech giants to share their data with rivals, and limit how many of their own apps they pre-install on devices”, I am actually surprised that they did not give us “share their data with non-Chinese rivals”, a stage the we have seen before and one that we will see again, to be honest, I am not certain if the people setting the rules have any clue who the people are that they represent, merely the setting of larger tech company trying to get a grip on technology the they ignored for too long. And ever as we are told “The draft rules, known as the Digital Services Act, aim to set the ground rules for data-sharing and how digital marketplaces operate. They are expected to come into force by the end of the year”, we see a stage where tax rules are ignored, it is too complex for them, they will do it later (or so they believe). Even as we are told “The case has taken on urgency because of the dependence of thousands of EU companies on the tech giants for their business”, a setting which I regard to be a joke, because those ‘thousands of EU companies’ refused to budge on several items when too going was good, they merely latched on like leeches, getting max result for zero effort, I know this because if that was not the case, I would not have the IP I have now, and there are only two contestants for the IP to get ownership, the rest is merely dumbstruck on the side of the road and as they are realising that the digital highway os beyond their comprehension and as they feel the floor slip from under them as 5G comes into power, now they all cry like little girls, all with their own version of ‘Google/Apple is such a mean old bastard, boo hoo hoo hoo’ theatrics and optional fake tears. 

My view is given by a few quotes, the first one is “The App Store was opened on July 10, 2008, with an initial 500 applications available”, we then see the that the app store grew with 2 million apps in 2017 and now it has 1.75 million apps. So these people had a decade to get involved with Apple, as such where it their timeline? Bullet point idiots basing their needs on concepts. Where it the actual and factual engineering in place? The story for Google is pretty similar. Global businesses  (not merely EU companies) with short sighted goals, short sighted, merely because their spreadsheet was dictated by financial people, not a long term sight in place. I reckon (my speculation) the some people tarted to reconsider their position when Apple announced the 10 billion download mark somewhere in 2011, but at the point the credit crunch got in the way and the people (more lazy than anything else) decided to wait, but the Digital highway is one where waiting is a sin and Google showed the easy enough. And now, as companies are realising that 5G will merely see exponential options where established apps are in place, unless you have a third party data need and that is overwhelmingly attractive, but there the Google and Apple stores are a problem for them. They will happily play with GDPR fines, yet the Google and Apple stores are the problems and as I see it, and as I see it, the EU is stupid enough to force open the doors to others. 

My vision?

Why is this my vision, because we are told “limit which apps Apple and Google pre-install on your phone”, just like the setting it had in the Internet Explorer v3 age. I thought they would have learned by now. In the first, Apple people go iOS, Google people go Android. In all this we the consumer chose what WE want, but did you see any of the in the article? Our voice is not heard ad not given any power, because it is about appeasing ‘the dependence of thousands of EU companies’, the companies that were asleep at the wheel in the first place, not merely asleep, they have nothing to contribute, a concept at best but when you look at the staff, they have none, yet they will sure others the these people will be hired the moment certain steps are finalised, and it will be a ‘complex issue’ to say the least. In all this, these companies have never considered a new road, adjustment and aggregating what they have and what they are delivering, but they all hide behind players like Epic games with, if a game maker can do it, so can our EU business enterprise, can it not? And there we see the first flaw from the very beginning, these people are mostly clueless. Should you consider me wrong, then consider that on the digital highway beyond Apple and Google, the third player is one the started as a book shop, a bloody bookshop no less (Amazon) and its owner, who copycatted his hairstyle from Telly Savalas (just like Vin Diesel did). So consider that whilst we see another gravy train trap our choices in what THEY call open choices, but it is not, it will make life harder for the consumer, not easier and none of them will guarantee your data.

So in the words of Lieutenant Kojak “Who loves you baby!

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The tech is out there

Even now, as the larger players (Microsoft and Wall-mart) are starting a bidding fight for TikTok, we see the flaw on several levels in the digital age. I illuminated it yesterday, in my previous article.  We are in a stage where everyone is shouting that they have Digital Media Managers , Digital Marketers, Account Managers, Social Media Managers and so on, and so on. Yet, where it counts, we see (at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIGOV/bulletins/29bf2b8) the statement on Kenosha and the shooting, but when I looked at the site in ‘Self destruct initiated’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/27/self-destruct-initiated/) there was no mention at all and that was at 02:57 on August 27th, whilst the shooting was on August 23, it took 4 days for the digital media manager to wake up. Yet the police section in the news of the City of Kenosha website is still empty, so why do they have a website and who manages it? It is nice to have politicians and captains of industry hide behind the Internet of Things, digital media and digital needs, but where it counts, are they even aware that they flunked the pooch? 

A second set is given by the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53930775), here we see ‘Facebook says Apple ad-blocking settings could halve revenue’ where we get introduced to “Apple’s plan to require all users to actively opt in before they can be tracked “may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it”, Facebook said”, whilst we also get “In the upcoming iOS 14, apps have to explicitly ask users’ permission to collect and share data, meaning ads will no longer be able to just “follow” users to apps outside of Facebook”, all whilst everyone is ignoring “way for advertisers to extend their campaigns beyond Facebook and into other mobile apps”, lets be clear, FaceBook has every right to advertise on its site, it is the price of getting a free service, yet where does it state that the people have to agree to be followed “into other mobile apps”? In that article, where does it state the need and rights of the consumer? (I am not attacking the BBC or the writer of the article), we overlook technology to the mere shallow assumption related to it. We see the attack on Apple from Epic games (Fortnite) and we see Microsoft supporting Epic games, yet thee fact that the rule that Apple relied on is pretty much the same rule Microsoft has in place, so how did that make sense? It only looks clear when we see the path Microsoft has in play and they mobile XCloud is relying on the millions of iPhone users. I mentioned that in ‘The stage pushed by Microsoft’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/24/the-stage-pushed-by-microsoft/), so again we see a tech setting that is getting a shallow treatment and in this case I do not attack the media (even though I think they fell short), for the media it is all the emotion, as such we see the BBC giving us ‘Apple Fortnite players left behind in new update’, yet the stage where Epic games would be allowed back if they remove the external link in the game, which is against the developers agreement that Epic games agreed to when they got on the Apple store, a rule that Microsoft has in play as well and the media pretty much smoothed over with what I would personally see as ‘applied ignorance in action’.  

We see two versions of limited tech insight. This entire setting also applies to Huawei, the accusations and the lack of evidence is centre to all this. We get ‘Huawei’s networking equipment has not been detected spying’, in a Sky article last July, and it is the driving part in all this, we want evidence and we keep on getting bitching American politicians, one after another all emotions and no evidence. All whilst last week in the Australian Financial Review (at https://www.afr.com/technology/is-huawei-too-big-to-fail-20200824-p55ont) where we get the repeated “shot down by an announcement from the US government that it would use the global dominance of American technology to cut off all supplies of semiconductors to Huawei”, which is stupidity on a new level. It seems that it is not and that would be fair, the short term solution is met as semiconductors are not available. Yet in this for over a year Huawei was ready to that stage making (read: designing) their own semiconductors. When that happens, the US will have a Chinese competitor in another field and the US will lose even more ground. So whilst the US is in denial that Huawei grew because it had a good product, slightly cheaper but a lot better, in all this they rely on “Driven by the belief that Huawei could enable the ruling Chinese Communist party and its military to spy on other countries and their companies, undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets, the US government used every option open to it”, where ‘could’ is the operative word and the additional ‘undermine their national security and steal their commercial secrets’, and guess what, there is no evidence on any level and the situation merely becomes worse when you consider ‘Critical flaw in IOS routers allows ‘complete system compromise’’, a part that ZDNet gave us in June (and before that, at https://www.zdnet.com/article/ciscos-warning-critical-flaw-in-ios-routers-allows-complete-system-compromise/), it is a simple situation, the Chinese government does not need to use Huawei to spy, they can use Cisco equipment (an American company based in San Jose) and download server by server on a global scale. When did the media give you that part? That weakness and a few more have been out in the open, and we hear nothing. This is not on Cisco, as it warned the users and is working on fixes, but the media is blind to the flaw, why is that?

Both the tech and the flawed tech is out there and there is a growing issue for a lot of people that we get limited and one sided revelations, who is served better to that? I am going with the personal view that the setting of the media catering to Shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers remains firmly in place.

The tech is out there, but who is taking a good look at it and who is using it to the maximum that would be required in the digital age? I’ll let you brew on that for a little while.

 

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The stage pushed by Microsoft

It started recently with a setting that is now evolving into ‘Microsoft says Apple’s move against ‘Fortnite’ creator would hurt its games’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-epic-games/microsoft-says-apples-move-against-fortnite-creator-would-hurt-its-games-idUSKBN25J0K2). In the first a person (like me) would state ‘Who cares?’, yet the state we see ourselves in is becoming less transparent. In gaming, there is nothing like branding, branding has been the centrepiece of gaming for 30 years, does that mean that there is no room to manoeuvre? No, it does not, but to understand the setting we need to take you back. Even as Microsoft would love to push the stage via “Microsoft Corp on Sunday said in a court filing that Apple Inc’s threat to cut off the creator of “Fortnite” from Apple’s developer tools would hurt Microsoft’s gaming business, as well as other game developers” to THEIR advantage, as they are in a stage where they lose the gaming business due to their own stupidity. They tried to change the business and they were willing to do this at the expense of the gamer, the consumer, so how exactly is Apple hurting their business when they are doing it to themselves? Yes that is a decent question, but to understand the stage, we need to understand the larger setting.

There are PC gamers and Xbox gamers, both with Microsoft in a larger form of power, yet they are about to lose 50% of that (Xbox), the issues is not where you play games, but the stage where Microsoft wants YOU to play. The stage is further pushed through ‘Microsoft Research has prototyped Xbox controllers for phones and tablets’, the big issues is that Apple gamers and iPad gamers consists of well over a million players and to get them to embrace Microsoft controllers, they need games that are under their control, and as such they need access to Apple hardware, revenue drives them at every turn and Apple users are a massive source of untapped revenue. In light of this, does the title part ‘would hurt Microsoft’s gaming business’ make sense? Fortnite is but one title, it is owned by Epic Games, which is part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. So how does Microsoft fit in? Well it doesn’t but access to Apple is essential for the failed business that is laughingly known as ‘Microsoft’s gaming business’. Now, Microsoft can do in its own realm whatever it wants, and for that reason I dumped the Microsoft console, but there is no way that I would accept their stupidity on Sony Playstation, Apple, or Nintendo systems. They are loudly protesting because Epic Games has about a quarter of a billion gamers, so by stating that they are here for Fortnite is interesting for them, and the fact that Fortnite exists on nearly all systems works out well for them. And as we can see how they (as I personally see it) betrayed their own gamers base, so how can they state “Microsoft’s gaming business” when their setting is ‘revenue’, and whilst we also get to see “Apple has said that it will reverse its moves if Epic resubmits a version of “Fortnite” that complies with its payment rules”, so Epic can undo the damage when it adheres to the Apple rules. To be honest, I am on the fence on those rules, and Epic Games enjoyed the benefit in the beginning, but now they want to avoid the cost, and this is the weird part when we look at Fortnite we are given: “V-Bucks purchased on PlayStation 4 or Switch cannot be spent on other devices. Any Fortnite content you buy with your V-Bucks will be available on every device linked to your Fortnite account, regardless of which device the content was bought on”, and as I see it, why is Apple not mentioned there? In addition we see “V-Bucks are not transferable between Epic accounts”, so in that regard when we look back to 2018 where we see “Starting today on Xbox One, cross-platform play, purchasing and progression are available between Xbox One, PC, Mac and iOS.  Support for Android is coming in the next few months. As always, cross-platform functionality is a completely opt-in experience”, so  in this, there is no cross for Nintendo and Sony, as such why push Apple? All whilst Epic did this to themselves by ignoring the Apple rules (Google rules too). Whilst we see that these rules were circumvented, why do Facebook and Microsoft want a piece of it? We can start Facebook in any apple and any safari browser, yet they are limited to the data they can capture, when these games are directly added and outside of the store we will never know what security issue is circumvented, and personally, it is my opinion that Microsoft has no real credibility left, so why would I allow them there? And why are they so against the ‘rules’ that Apple set up when both Apple and Facebook had no issues forcing their rules down our throats? #JustAsking

And in finality the best cherrie of them all, straight from Microsoft (at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/publish/store-policies#108-financial-transactions):

10.8 Financial Transactions

If your product includes in-product purchase, subscriptions, virtual currency, billing functionality or captures financial information, the following requirements apply:

10.8.1

You must use the Microsoft Store in-product purchase API to sell digital items or services that are consumed or used within your product. Your product may enable users to consume previously purchased digital content or services, but must not direct users to a purchase mechanism other than the Microsoft Store in-product purchase API. 

As such what is Microsoft exactly bitching about? 

 

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It is more than a ban

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

 

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