Disclaimer have not read up on the legal details of Epic v mobile stores.
I run & teach game design at a UK University and have been an Apple fan since the 90s and a “gamer” even before that. (I was good on the Amiga but am terrible on most PS4 games)
What I would say is that this is just about money and it was always going to be a big game company to take this on. The simple fact is that over the last decade the fastest growing gaming platform has and is mobile, it’s the biggest sector more than all other platforms now (has been for a few years if I recall correctly) and this is inside the biggest entertainment industry on the planet. Games out sell month on month music and film combined & not by small margins either, the pandemic has accelerated the growth which is year on year huge (9.3% last year). You think any gaming company is just going to hand 30% over for providing nothing.
AR is going to be a big gaming area and Apple are already showing the most capable place to use this tech. That’s total lock down for these game companies Apple will have to change its model.
The Apple Arcade deals are obviously not good enough or not a right fit as “no in app purchases” - I have my own thoughts on how Apple Arcade should work to support indie games mind but that’s another blog post.
On mobile In-game revenues are the main source of income, with nearly 98% of the $77.2 billion in revenues coming from in-game transactions in 2020. It’s also worth noding towards some of the social aspects re games like Fortnite in that is not just a last person standing game it’s the equivalent of the skateparks we use to hang out as teenagers so your style (look) and presence in game is very important and thus custom avatar purchase or prizes etc are really important to these communities.
I am not sure if using your players and mobilising them to bash Apple via social media is an ethical approach however as I am confident Epics motivation is all about revenue no matter what they say in the law suite.
What I want the argument to actually be about is the control of how we can use our devices is exercised on us and as these devices are clear extensions of ourselves, we are already cyborgs, augmented by the mobile technology and yet we are being given less and less control over our digital selves & thus our digital human rights.
Apple might well just start cutting more deals with big companies and then we will have truly lost.
Data image from new zoo report.