Valve refuses to cooperate with Apple in the Epic-Apple lawsuits. Let’s try to go over this as plainly as possible.
First, Epic Games altered the price of V-Bucks and introduced a direct payment system in Fortnite last year. Then, Apple removes Fortnite from the Apple Store in August last year because of this. Epic Games responds with an antitrust lawsuit and the “Free Fortnite” campaign. Apple fires a counter-suit. This goes on for some time. In the first half of this week, Epic Games took the case to Europe as well, filing a lawsuit against Apple in the EU. Now Apple wants to drag in Valve into this mess. Why? Well, Apple and Valve submitted a joint letter to the court which states that Apple tried to retrieve data from Valve. According to Apple:
Epic’s various mobile and non-mobile distribution options are centered to disrupted issues of market definition and market power.”
So Apple has to look at Valve’s data to make their case solid by comparing Valve’s database of games that are both on Steam and Epic Games Store.
Apple Wants What?
Apple and Valve already had a few meetings but Valve ultimately provided very little information of importance to the case so it is in no way helpful to Apple. Some of the data streams Apple has requested include:
- total yearly sales of apps and in-app products;
- annual advertising revenues from Steam;
- annual sales of external products attributable to Steam;
- annual revenues from Steam
- annual earnings (whether gross or net) from Steam.
- dates on sale
- every price and price change (for 436 games Steam shares with the Epic Games Store)
Valve stated that it would be too much work to produce just one of these data streams included, especially that last one on the list above. The company also states that Apple is asking for too much. Valve’s position reads:
Somehow, in a dispute over mobile apps, a maker of PC games that does not compete in the mobile market or sell “apps” is being portrayed as a key figure. It’s not. The extensive and highly confidential information Apple demands about a subset of the PC games available on Steam does not show the size or parameters of the relevant market and would be massively burdensome to pull together. Apple’s demands for further production should be rejected,”
Fortnite is still not available on Steam.