Executives criticize the new EU App Store terms, stating "Apple perceives developers merely as thieves
Apple’s recent unveiling of new business terms for the EU App Store has stirred up a storm of criticism and accusations. During a town hall meeting, Krafton CEO Changhan Kim outlined the company’s vision for expansion in 2024, which includes launching multiple new titles and exploring opportunities in India. However, the guidelines surrounding these new policies are complex and come with numerous caveats.
The tech giant’s new policies, intended to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act, technically allow for alternative app stores and third-party payments within EU App Stores for the first time. However, developers have raised concerns about the intricacies of these guidelines. While developers can use Apple’s fee calculator to forecast outcomes, many established firms are expected to see Apple’s commission on all in-app purchases drop to 17%, with the addition of a new Core Technology Fee of €0.50 for each app install over 1 million per annum.
Critics have drawn comparisons between Apple’s new policies and Unity’s disastrous Runtime Fee policy. One mobile game publisher CEO expressed dismay, stating that the move is reminiscent of Unity’s failed proposal and could have detrimental effects on the industry.
Xsolla interim CEO and president Chris Hewish went further, criticizing Apple’s perception of developers as “thieves trying to steal” from the company. He suggested that the new fees introduced by Apple are simply another way to maintain their 30% fee structure under a different guise.
The response from EU regulators has been keenly awaited, with industry chief Thierry Breton stating that the bloc “will not hesitate to take strong action” if Apple’s proposed solutions are deemed inadequate.
Meanwhile, other industry figures have voiced their concerns about the impact of Apple’s policies on the iOS ecosystem. Some predict that Google’s Android platform may benefit from Apple’s increasingly hostile environment for developers. However, others believe that EU regulators have missed the mark by allowing Apple to impose what they deem as an “entrance fee” to the iOS club.
In the midst of the controversy, Epic Games announced its intention to proceed with the EU launch of the Epic Games Store and Fortnite. CEO Tim Sweeney drew parallels between Apple’s new policies and Unity’s Runtime Fee fiasco, highlighting the potential implications for developers and consumers alike.
Overall, Apple’s new EU App Store policies have ignited a fierce debate within the industry, with developers and industry observers alike expressing concerns about their impact on competition, innovation, and user experience.
Source: adapted from an article by Neil long, Founder and Editor of mobilegamer.biz.