Epic’s battle for “open platforms” ignores consoles’ massive closed market

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: But... publishers and consumers have been fighting that fight with the console vendors since at least the mid 80s, from Tengen and the Nintendo CIC, through the constant legal and technical battles around console-hacking that continue to be a good show today. Epic (who are frankly not my favorites, but if they want to spend the enormous resources required to do something about the problem, awesome) is trying to prevent a spread of locked-down, vendor-controlled appliance computers, and the right-to-read style open computing advocates should be pleased they are doing it.
Epic’s battle for “open platforms” ignores consoles’ massive closed market

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Yesterday, Epic used Fortnite to essentially wage open war against Apple's and Google's mobile app marketplaces. First it added a discounted "Epic Direct Payment" option alongside the standard iOS App Store and Google Play payment options in Fortnite, in direct violation of those stores' policies.

Then, when Fortnite was predictably removed from both platforms, Epic filed lawsuits against both companies, alleging "anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices" in the mobile app marketplace. That move came alongside a heavy-handed PR blitz, including a video asking players to "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming '1984.'"

But through this entire public fight for "open mobile platforms," as Epic puts it, there is one major set of closed platforms that the company seems happy to continue doing business with. We're speaking, of course, about video game consoles.

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