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Week in Views - Apple Vs Epic Vs The EU, a $1.8 billion Euro fine and Capcom gives everyone a pay rise

The Pocketgamer.biz team pick their highlights from the headlines this week and deliver the stories behind the stories
Week in Views - Apple Vs Epic Vs The EU, a $1.8 billion Euro fine and Capcom gives everyone a pay rise
  • To give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week
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The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths

Editor - PocketGamer.biz

Apple just revoked Epic's iOS developer account. Again

It's unbelievable. We'd complain more... But we're enjoying the battle too much. I really can't sum up this week's amazing events any plainer than this. Here - in brief - is what's happened.

  • Epic tries to bypass Apple's 30% fees.
  • Apple kick them off the App Store.
  • Epic wage major war on everything that Apple stands for.
  • The European Union passes the Digital Markets Act, taking on board many of Epic's arguments.
  • Apple manages (so far) to appease the DMA while changing very little in real terms.
  • Epic - thanks to the DMA - are able to get back on board iOS and openly relish doing so and launching an iOS Epic App Store with the small matter of Fortnite returning to iOS as the big prize.
  • Apple's Phil Schiller writes to Epic's Tim Sweeney and asks him to promise very hard that he won't ever upset them again.
  • Tim Sweeney does so.
  • Apple don't like his reply and kick Epic off the App Store again. Proving that - despite the existence of the DMA - they still have the power to run iOS exactly as they please.
  • The EU finally wakes up and steps in. Ding ding. Round… (What round is it again?)

We're not making this up. Read our coverage, weep, and join us next week for more Apple/Epic/EU facepalming…

UPDATE: This just happened…

Craig Chapple

Craig Chapple

Head of Content

EU slaps Apple with €1.8 billion fine for “abusing its dominant position” in music streaming space

The European Union has fired its first serious shot and Apple’s business practices. Spotify’s complaint to the European Commision about Apple’s dominant market position, and the EC’s promise to investigate back in 2020, finally came to a climax this week.

The result? A €1.8 billion fine against Apple for “abusing its dominant position” in the music screaming space on iOS devices by banning alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside the App Store. It said such anti-steering provisions were illegal under EU antitrust rules and amounted to “unfair trading conditions”.

The announcement came just as the Digital Markets Act is set to come into force, with Apple in the EU’s crosshairs as one of the big tech ‘gatekeepers’ its targeting. Talk about timing…

I think this shows the EU isn’t messing around when it comes to bringing regulation to tech. The EU (and the DMA), as Daniel discusses and as Deconstructor of Fun’s Eric Kress stated during Think Games Istanbul this week, isn’t messing around. The EU is showing its teeth and is willing to deal out record fines to rein in big platform holders.

Apple, of course, criticised the EC’s ruling and said it would appeal. On the one hand, it’s understandable that Apple is looking to protect its business interests and revenue. I get it.

But wouldn’t it be great if a company like Apple tried to innovate on the App Store - make it a better ecosystem and fix discovery for users and publishers. Instead, the App Store business appears to be run by lawyers, coming up with new and ‘innovative’ legal ways to navigate regulatory hurdles to maintain the status quo, rather than provide an industry-leading service that publishers want to be a part of.

Aaron Astle

Aaron Astle

News Editor

Capcom to “invest in its people” with a payrise for all employees

It’s refreshing to have some positive news in the world of video game jobs this week, and Capcom has delivered just that, announcing plans to give every employee a payrise. Existing employees are expected to receive a 5% rise on average with a one-off special payment on the way too.

Investing in its people has been a focal point for Capcom for a while now, having introduced a stock-based compensation system for employees and raising base salaries by 30% since 2022. With the upcoming changes, new graduate hires can expect to earn 27.7% more next year, equating to $440 bonus pay per month.

It’s a nice reward for employees after Capcom’s recent successes like Monster Hunter Now, and offers some comfort in a landscape that’s been increasingly dower lately with all the layoffs. Turns out there are still game makers doing well and thanking their employees for their hard work, investing back into this industry’s exceptional talent and nurturing a culture where great work means great reward for all.

Take note, (redacted)!