Fortnite Maker Accuses Apple Of Going On The Attack

This illustration picture shows Epic Games’ Fortnite loading on a smartphone in Los Angeles on August 14, 2020. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP)

 

The company behind popular video game Fortnite on Monday asked a judge to stop what it claimed is retaliation by Apple for challenging the App Store fee policy.

After pulling Fortnite from its App Store last week, Apple notified Epic Games it will cut off access to tools needed to tailor software for devices powered by the iPhone maker’s operating systems, according to a request for a temporary restraining order.

Without those tools, Epic will not be able to create iPhone, iPad or Mac computer versions of its widely used Unreal Engine for powering rich graphics, the company said.

The Unreal Engine powers popular video games other than Fortnite, and has applications such as virtual reality training for astronauts and visual effects for television shows such as “The Mandalorian,” according to Epic.

“Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas,” the restraining order request argued.

“Left unchecked, Apple’s actions will irreparably damage Epic’s reputation among Fortnite users and be catastrophic for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business.”

Epic asked a judge to stop Apple from refusing to list Fortnite at the App Store or restrict access to the developers program until the matter is resolved in court.

Apple told Epic it would be cut off from software development tools by August 28, the filing said.

The Silicon Valley-based tech giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

– ‘Anti-competitive conduct’ –
Apple and Google last week pulled video game sensation Fortnite from their mobile app shops after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the tech giants.

The latest version of Fortnite contains a payment system that lets player transactions bypass Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play, preventing the firms from collecting their typical 30 percent cut.

Apple, which does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, booted the game from its online marketplace, followed later by Google.

Epic quickly filed a federal lawsuit against Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of wielding monopoly power.

The suit seeks a halt to Apple’s “anti-competitive conduct” and invalidation of the tech giant’s rules requiring app developers to pay the company 30 percent of transactions.

The suit is asking the court to order Apple to change its commission structure for all developers.

Apple said last week that Fortnite was pulled after “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.”

Gamers will still be able to play Fortnite on their mobile devices, though Apple users will no longer be able to receive updates because those would need to come through the App Store.

Android users can still download updates directly from Epic.

 

 

-AFP

Ronaldo Arrives As Serie A Returns In FIFA19 Video Game

Juventus’ forward from Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo warms up prior to the Italian Serie A football match AC Chievo vs Juventus at the Marcantonio-Bentegodi stadium in Verona on August 18, 2018.
Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in Italy has boosted the international popularity of Serie A which will return in the FIFA 19 video game to be launched next month, the Lega Serie A confirmed Monday.

Lega Serie A chairman Gaetano Micciche said the agreement had been reached to include the Italian league in the new edition of the world’s most famous football simulator.

“We are very happy to come back in a famous and popular game like FIFA 19,” Micciche said in a statement.

“The agreement signed with an internationally renowned partner such as EA Sports testifies to the worldwide recognition that our championship has.”

Maurizio Finocchiaro, Electronic Arts Italy General Manager, underlined “the high potential of the next season for Italian football”.

Ronaldo, 33, made his Serie A debut for Juventus in a 3-2 win at Chievo at the weekend after a 100 million euro move from Real Madrid.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was the cover star in the FIFA 18 edition with his former club.

The Italian league has also seen the return of former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti to Italy as coach of Serie A runners-up Napoli.

The new edition, which will be available from September 28, also allow fans to compete in the new UEFA Champions League tournament mode, which includes all stages of the competition.

AFP

Video Game Warriors Do Battle Before 40,000 Fans

Players attend the award ceremony of the World Championships Final of League of Legends at the National Stadium ‘Bird’s Nest’ in Beijing on November 4, 2017. STR / AFP

More than 40,000 spectators, giant screens, players glued to their keyboards and more than $1 million prize money for the winners: welcome to the world of eSports in China, a country that has become a leader in competitive video game playing.

The final of the world championships for League of Legends, one of the most-played video games on the planet, took place Saturday in Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest”, the national stadium built for the 2008 Olympic Games.

“The atmosphere is great! It’s better than at home, no?” said Yu Yating, a 23-year-old customer service manager dressed in a cosplay outfit: long green wig, white minidress and a plastic golden sceptre.

“I’ve been playing League of Legends since 2013 because I love the monster fights — it relaxes me,” she explained, as screams broke out in the stands when the competitors arrived, ready to do battle.

Soon, one of the players slaughtered a virtual dragon, prompting howls of excitement.

“Oh, huge!”, said 19-year-old student Qian Feng, one of the spectators following the multi-player game on three giant screens that were practically the height of the stadium.

Two-thirds of the audience were male, between 15 to 35 years old. Some, like Qian, had travelled hundreds of kilometres to watch the final in person.

“eSports have taken off in China because all young people have a computer now,” he said.

“When I have school, I play League of Legends with my friends an hour a day, otherwise we play all afternoon.”

Tickets for the event cost between 280 to 1,280 yuan ($40 to $190) and sold out in minutes, with touts hawking them on the black market for up to 13,000 yuan.

The size of the audience for the League of Legends final, a game owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, matched that of the 2017 Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax — without including the tens of thousands of fans streaming the match live through specialist websites.

– ‘A computer is enough’ –

The packed event showcased China’s ambition to become the world leader for electronic sports, or eSports.

The fast-growing sport sees teams of professional video game players fight for large sums of money in front of an audience, usually in multipurpose arenas or stadiums. And its popularity is only expected to grow.

There are currently 191 million eSports fans around the world, and numbers are projected to increase by 20 percent by 2020, according to video game specialists Newzoo.

As purists question if video games even qualify as a sport, eSports are inching closer to official recognition after last weekend’s meeting of Olympic representatives in Lausanne, Switzerland left open the possibility for a future Olympics event.

Meanwhile eSports is set to have its own category at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou in China. That comes as little surprise since Asia is a fast-growing market for video games.

“I also play traditional sports, badminton,” said Li Hangtian, a 22-year-old student.

“But China is very populous, it is sometimes difficult and expensive to reserve a court, whereas I can practise eSports with my roommates where and when I want: a computer is enough.”

Enthusiasm for the games shows no sign of slowing down. Global turnover from eSports is currently $696 million, with Newzoo saying it will climb to $1.5 billion in the next three years.

And Asia could be its future, with China currently accounting for “around 15 to 20 percent of global eSports revenue”, said Ignat Bobrovich, chief executive of TwogNation, an international eSports management agency.

“North America is the biggest market for now, at 35 to 40 percent. But in two years’ time, Asia, which is home to half the world’s eSports fans, will easily outstrip this,” he added.

Indeed, Saturday’s face-off featured two South Korean teams, with Samsung Galaxy vanquishing SK Telecom T1 3-0 and pocketing around $1.7 million in winnings.

 

AFP

Nintendo’s Wii U Sales Disappoint

Sales of Nintendo’s latest games console, the Wii U, slowed in the three months to June. The gaming giant sold just 160,000 units, down 51% from the previous three months. Nintendo has sold 3.61 million units in total so far.

However, the company said that it still expected to sell nine million Wii U units by March 2014.

Nintendo also reported a profit for the latest quarter, with its earnings helped by the weaker value of the yen. It reported a net profit of 8.6bn yen ($88m; £58m) for the three months to June, compared with a loss of 17.2bn yen in the same period a year ago.

A cheap yen boosts profits when earnings for Japanese exporters are repatriated.

Nintendo launched the Wii U in November last year, but titles for the console have seen developmental delays.

The company says it is hoping a slew of new games titles will boost sales.Video game companies have been suffering as people increasingly play games on their smartphones and other devices.

Nintendo, famous for video game titles such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario, left its earnings forecast of 55bn yen for the year to March 2014 unchanged.

Game warns it could be game over

Visitors play a car racing video game during a visit at the Paris Games Week show in Paris
British video games retailer Game warned shareholders their equity in the firm could be worthless as it struggles to source new products from suppliers.
The group, which trades from about 1,270 stores in nine European markets and Australia, said on Monday it remained in talks with suppliers and lenders in relation to terms of trade that allow it to operate within a banking facility agreed last month.

Game said it was working to resolve the supply issues as quickly as possible.

“This includes ongoing discussions with suppliers, seeking access to the original facility or alternative sources of funding, and reviewing the position of all of its assets in the UK and international territories,” it said.

But it warned investors: “It is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the company.”

Shares in Game, which have lost 94 percent of their value over the last year, closed Friday at 3.51 pence, valuing the business at 12.2 million pounds ($19.2 million).

Yesterday’s Sunday Times said failure to pay a quarterly rent bill due in a fortnight could push Game into administration. ($1 = 0.6372 British pounds)