One of Epic v. Apple The major keywords of the study are “cross-wallet play”.

In Epic’s Fourteen days“Cross-wallet” means that you can buy the game currency (known as V-Bucks) with real money on one device and then spend it on another device. The latter platform doesn’t cut your initial, non-virtual, financial transaction, which is why Nintendo and Sony don’t support cross-wallet access on Switch and PlayStation.

Apple did Supporting cross wallet play before the ban Fourteen days last year – and on day two of the trial, that fact became a serious threat to Epic. Apple continued a long cross-examination with Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, whose hour of testimony included a digression on whether Fourteen days counts as a real metaverse or just a great free game with concerts. (Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers suggested, and Sweeney agreed, that “the most easily acceptable analogy” might be that of Steven Spielberg Ready player one.)

Sweeney was followed by two witnesses from outside Epic: the founder of an iOS yoga app, followed by the product manager for Nvidia’s cloud gaming service. All argued that Apple’s tightly managed App Store forced customers to use cumbersome workarounds. Meanwhile, Apple argued that the workarounds aren’t necessarily worse – just different.

Fourteen days was kicked from the App Store for adding its own V-Bucks purchase system directly to the app, which violated Apple’s restrictions on processing in-app payments. But, as Apple’s lawyers pointed out today, Epic had another way of selling V-Bucks on iOS. The company just had to sell them directly through its website, which users could visit through the iPhone or iPad Safari browser without Apple receiving any commission. When they started up Fourteen days On iOS, their V-Bucks would be waiting.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found this argument convincing enough to pursue further. Why couldn’t iPhone users buy V-Bucks through Safari, she asked earlier Fortnites Ban in August? Epic CEO Tim Sweeney admitted that Epic could have added the feature – but “it wasn’t a very attractive option for our customers,” said Sweeney. If someone is looking to buy V-Bucks, there’s a good chance they’re already looking at an item in Fourteen days. “To adjust Fourteen days Aside and pull out a device, navigate to a website, log in, do a transaction there, it’s extremely inconvenient. “In short,” Selling an item outside of this app to a user of an app involves a tremendous amount of payment processing and customer issues. “

But after the question of how old is most Fourteen days Players were, Rogers suggested that a little friction might be a good thing. “Why is it so impractical that someone can’t do what I as a parent would call impulse buying?” She asked. “Isn’t that dealing responsibly with a young customer base?” If people can buy V-Bucks and then switch platforms, “what you really ask for is the ability to make impulse buys.”

Sweeney said Fourteen days had parental control, but he didn’t deny Rogers’ idea. “Yes. Customer convenience is a big part of this. People are much more likely to make a purchase when it’s easy to make a purchase,” he said.

A similar question arose from a later witness. Benjamin Simon is the CEO of a company called Yoga Buddhi that runs an iOS app called Down Dog. (Unfortunately no one thought of it in court make an updog joke.) Yoga Buddhi offers a significant discount for signing up outside of the iOS app. And unlike Epic, sending people to a website is okay. However, Simon claims that Apple is making this website as difficult as possible to find.

Simon says Apple turned down several versions of Down Dog that point to getting a discount elsewhere. Around half of iOS users currently pay a premium for registering via the App Store. For comparison: only 10 percent of Android users pay a similar premium via the Play Store, as Google does not have the same restrictions.

Simon acknowledged that Yoga Buddhi can reach customers through other methods such as email and help them switch to the reduced version. Again, the problem is friction. “We are only able to communicate with our customers to a limited extent within our product,” he complained.

From Apple’s perspective, both executives turn a small inconvenience into a big deal. Customers may have to work a little harder to save money, but that doesn’t mean they’re monopolistically locked out. And while Sweeney describes Fourteen days As a high-profile metaverse, Rogers put it in the very different context of “freemium” gaming – an industry whose powerful, smooth game loops are regularly criticized as addictive and predatory.

However, this criticism arguably supports Epic’s claims. In recent years, regulators and researchers have shown increasing concerns about subtle design choices in apps – such as: B. infinite scrolling, Confetti animationand optimizes the sorting algorithms in social networks. There is broad consensus that small nudges can significantly increase people’s investment in digital platforms. But Epic may have to work harder to convince a court that this investment isn’t one Bad Thing.

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