Tim Sweeney wants an app store for every platform, likely in the metaverse

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said the world needs a unified game store and Epic is working with developers and service providers to make it happen.

“What the world really needs now is a single store that works across all platforms,” Sweeney said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Right now, software ownership is fragmented between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play market, various stores on Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch, then the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store. “

Epic’s plan to clear up this confusion is to deliver a system that allows users to “buy software in one place, knowing they will have it on all devices and all platforms.” How it will bring together this disparate assemblage of competing technologies and platforms is an unanswered question, but it’s safe to assume that it has something to do with the metaverse, the ill-defined concept of online worlds. which we’re pretty sure is a bad idea, although Sweeney himself is a staunch (and legally recognized) adherent.

Sweeney has been publicly advocating for more open online storefronts since mid-2020, when Epic sued Apple for “monopoly practices” on the App Store. But speaking at the Global Mobile App Ecosystem Fairness Conference in South Korea, he insisted that there are more important reasons for forcing online storefronts to open than the money.

“Apple locks a billion users into a store and a payment processor,” Sweeney said. “Now Apple is complying with oppressive foreign laws, which monitor users and deny them their political rights. But Apple is ignoring the laws passed by the Korean Democracy. Apple must be shut down.”

South Korea recently passed a law mandating alternative payment options on major digital platforms, including the App Store, preventing platform owners from forcing developers to use their integrated payment systems. According to Herald of Korea, Google has brought into compliance with the new law, but Apple has not yet indicated if, or even how, it intends to do so.

“I am very proud to stand up with you against these monopolies,” Sweeney said. “I am proud to be by your side and to say that I am a Korean.”

This isn’t the first time Sweeney has declared his affinity with Korea: he made a similar statement in August, shortly after the Korean court ruling on digital storefronts.

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Nor is it his first sweeping statement on the cultural and moral significance of Epic’s dispute with Apple and Google. In November 2020, he was criticized for comparing Epic’s rejection of their terms of service with historic fights for civil rights. “There were real laws in the books, and the laws were false,” he said. “And people disobeyed them, and it wasn’t wrong to disobey them because going with them would be collusion to make them the status quo.”

A U.S. court also ruled in September that an Apple policy preventing apps from advertising their own payment systems is anti-competitive and should be changed. Apple appealed the decision but did not get a stay, meaning the court-ordered policy change to come into effect in December.

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