The EU developer association joins the growing criticism of Apple
As the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) prepares to take effect in March, Apple’s unveiling of new business terms surrounding alternative app stores and payments has stirred controversy. Epic Games, Microsoft, and numerous mobile game executives have voiced criticism, and now the European Game Developer Federation (EGDF) has joined the fray.
Representing over 2,500 small and medium-sized game studios and approximately 40,000 staff across Europe, the EGDF issued a lengthy statement condemning Apple’s policies as “anticompetitive” and “disappointing.” The trade body highlighted concerns about the fee structure, describing it as “disproportionate and unjustified.”
According to the EGDF, the new fee-based structure poses challenges for app developers seeking to compete with Apple’s own services, creating a disincentive for distributing games through third-party marketplaces or processing in-game payments through alternative systems. Additionally, the EUR 1 million credit line threshold to become a marketplace was criticized as creating an artificial barrier to market access.
The EGDF called for swift and robust enforcement actions from EU legislators if Apple is found to be incorrectly implementing the DMA’s policies. It emphasized the need to prevent Apple from hindering direct competition with third-party payment systems and to ensure that notarization and approval processes for alternative app store developers do not impede market access.
Furthermore, the trade body cautioned against Apple’s use of “excessive and unnecessarily alarming warning notifications” aimed at discouraging users from utilizing third-party payments. It warned that the new policies could harm the small and medium-sized businesses it represents, benefiting only existing industry giants.
Criticism was also directed at EU lawmakers for perceived weak legislation, with concerns raised about regulatory uncertainty and poor enforcement of EU law. The EGDF stressed the importance of clarity regarding the alignment of Apple’s fee structure with EU rules before European SME game publishers can confidently explore new market opportunities.
Source: adapted from an article by Neil Long, Founder and Editor of mobilegamer.biz.