Apple and Epic have finished their trial over whether Apple exerts too much control over the App Store. As The Verge notes, it “was bookended by Tims” -- Sweeney for Epic and Cook for Apple. After three weeks of testimony, here are a few key details that stand out:
Cook admitted video games like Epic drive their App Store revenues: He said in-app purchases in video games, of which Apple gets a 30% cut, make a majority of Apple’s App Store revenue. In a potentially bad sign for Apple, judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers responded, “The gaming industry seems to be generating a disproportionate amount of money relative to the IP that you are giving them and everybody else. In a sense, it's almost as if they're subsidizing everybody else.”
Cook also made the key point Apple has been making throughout the trial -- that Apple exerts full control over the App Store for security purposes.
But we’re not talking about only “games”: Using the descriptor video game to describe Epic didn’t make it too far in court. After Apple said it wanted to narrow the scope of arguments to games -- rather than any entity in the app -- Epic countered that it was a “metaverse, a social place.”
So apparently there’s no legal agreement on what constitutes a video game.
The potential flaw in Epic’s argument: During the debate-style closing arguments, the judge brought up an interesting point regarding Epic’s stance that it should be able to sell in-game purchases without Apple getting a cut. She said, Epic “is attacking the fundamental way in which Apple is generating revenue.”
A long time coming: It could take several weeks and potentially months before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers makes a ruling.