Skip to main content

Epic isn’t satisfied by Google’s app store billing stunt

Epic isn’t satisfied by Google’s app store billing stunt

/

Epic Games has been a strong proponent for more open app marketplaces

Share this story

Google has announced a pilot to allow for alternative payment systems in Android apps.
Google has announced a pilot to allow for alternative payment systems in Android apps.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google announced on Wednesday that it would test letting Android developers use their own billing systems in their apps, the first step in what could lead to a dramatic reshaping of the app economy. However, Epic Games, which has been a strong proponent for opening app marketplaces and sued Google after the search giant removed Fortnite from Google Play for including direct payments, still isn’t happy. It plans to continue advocating for an app ecosystem that offers more choices, according to a statement the company shared with The Verge.

“Apple and Google continue to abuse their market power with policies that stifle innovation, inflate prices and reduce consumer choice,” Corie Wright, Epic’s VP of public policy, said in the statement. “One deal does not change the anticompetitive status quo. We will continue to fight for fair and open platforms for all developers and consumers and work with policymakers and regulators to hold these gatekeepers accountable for their anticompetitive conduct.”

Under Google’s new pilot, developers will be able to offer a billing option in addition to the standard Google Play system. However, Spotify is currently the only known developer in the program, and it’s unclear who else may be participating or when it will be available more widely.

Epic is not a part of the pilot

Epic is not a part of the pilot, Epic spokesperson Elka Looks told The Verge. She did not share whether Epic rejected an offer or simply wasn’t asked to participate. Rick VanMeter, a spokesperson for the Coalition for App Fairness, of which Epic and Spotify are members, would not confirm to The Verge if its non-Spotify members were approached by Google.

Companies like Epic and Spotify have criticized Apple and Google’s app store policies, including what they claim are high fees, for years. However, even as Google is loosening its stance on alternative billing systems, it still sounds like Google will get some kind of commission from Spotify as part of the pilot.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Not just you

E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.