Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says Apple 'must be stopped'

Tim Cook
Tim Cook (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Tim Sweeney says Apple "must be stopped".
  • He gave an interview in Seoul on Tuesday.
  • He called for an end to lock-in and Apple's compliance "with oppressive foreign laws."

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that Apple "must be stopped" because it is ignoring laws passed by South Korea regarding in-app purchases and payments in the country.

As reported by Bloomberg:

Epic Games Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney renewed his attack on Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google as the world's dominant mobile duopoly before calling for a universal app store that works across all operating systems as the solution.

Sweeney said "What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms... "Right now software ownership is fragmented between the iOS App Store, the Android Google Play marketplace, different stores on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, and then Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store." Sweeney Epic was working with developers and other service providers to create a system that let them buy software in one place knowing it would work on all their devices on platforms.

He continued:

"Apple locks a billion users into one store and payment processor. Now Apple complies with oppressive foreign laws, which surveil users and deprive them of political rights. But Apple is ignoring laws passed by Korea's democracy. Apple must be stopped."

South Korea has passed laws forcing platforms like Apple and Google to allow alternative in-app payment systems on devices like the iPhone, however, Apple has told Korea it already complies with this, a response officials said wasn't in keeping with the purpose of the law.

The Epic Games CEO has previously warned of Apple's compliance with state surveillance, comments that have drawn criticism because Epic Games is part-owned by Tencent.

Google also took shots from Sweeney who said charging fees on payments it doesn't process was "crazy", a nod to Google's recent changes to allowing alternative in-app payments in the country. Sweeney rounded out his statements by saying "I'm very proud to stand up against these monopolies with you. I'm proud to stand with you and say I'm a Korean."

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

  • “I'm very proud to stand up against these monopolies with you.” LOL. Anyone who uses the word “monopolies” like this just shows he has no clue AT ALL what the word means. AGAIN, you can NOT have a “monopoly” on your own product. YOU CAN’T HAVE MULTIPLE “MONOPOLIES”. Hint: “mono” = 1. A monopoly exists in a market, NOT in a product. If Apple was the only choice in the phone MARKET and had 100% of the revenues, then THAT would be a true monopoly. The MARKET in question is for smartphones. NOT Apple phones. Since there is lots of competition in the smartphone market, there is NO monopoly. Period. That Tim Sweeney does not like this makes no difference at all. His continued public temper tantrum only continues to make him look like the fool he is. As the judge said, “Being successful is not against the law”. No one is forced to buy an Apple phone. No one is complaining about the App Store, except for a few misinformed fools. Like Tim Sweeney. In fact, developers make 80% of their revenue from the Apple App store, even though Android has far more users world wide.
  • Apple controls all iOS apps, where developers have no say on a different payment method. Its Apples way, or the highway. Even in retail stores you can use a debit card, Visa, Mastercard, cash, or some other means. All iOS app payments are FORCE to use Apples payment method. Why do you think Apple lost in that one area? Its still crappy where developers can use a link, but now Apple is not going to allow that until these lawsuites are put to bed. Even when the Judge told Apple that you must comply. Even Google allows other methods, and other ways to get 3rd party apps on Android. Its why Epic hasn't gone after Google with the same stuff that they went after Apple. Epic would lose again Google, because Google give developers multiple options. Apple gives you NO options.
  • You do realize you can use all those payment methods in the app store right. The retailer makes you pay using their cash register that's the equivalent analogy to Apple processing the purchases.
  • I thought Sweeney was just greedy but now I think he might actually be nuts. What he says he wants is not even feasable.