The CEO of Fortnite developer Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, has voice his fears that Apple and Google could continue their current mobile monopolies into the metaverse era.
Sweeney was talking to the Financial Times about the huge success of Fortnite in the fledgling metaverse, and the subject quickly and inevitably moved on to the company’s litigious beef with Apple and Google.
Epic infamously launched a lawsuit against Apple for the latter’s perceived unfair and monopolistic practice of taking a 30% cut of all app takings obtained through the App Store.
Asked by the interviewer whether he was fearful that these monopolies (Google and it Android platform doesn’t escape Sweeney’s censure either) might continue into the metaverse, Sweeney indicated that he was.
“I’m terribly afraid the current monopolies will use their power to become the next monopolies on new generations of platforms — and continue to use that power to exclude all competition,” he said.
“If these practices continue on smartphone, they’re not only going to dominate digital commerce and digital goods on smartphones, they’re ultimately going to dominate the metaverse and they’re going to dominate all physical commerce taking place in virtual and augmented reality.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Sweeney reiterated his objections to Apple’s and Google’s stranglehold on the app development process. He claimed that while Apple competes fairly in hardware, where consumers are free to make an alternative choice, it doesn’t compete fairly with its App Store, with smaller rival offerings such as the Epic Store unable to serve iPhone users directly.
Back in November, Sweeney called for single unified app store covering both iOS and Android.