App Store on iPhoneSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Japanese developers are speaking out against Apple.
  • Many are unhappy with what they see as inconsistent application of Apple's App Store guidelines.
  • Some also said they fully support Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple.

Several Japanese developers have spoken out against Apple and its App Store practices, stating they fully support Epic Games and its lawsuit against the company.

According to a new report from Bloomberg:

Epic Games Inc.'s decision to sue Apple Inc. over its mobile store practices has sparked new scrutiny in the massive Japanese gaming market, prompting complaints and questions about how to counter the tech giant's dominance.

The report notes Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple over its 30% cut of App Store sales, but says Japanese game studios "have broader concerns", namely "Apple's inconsistent enforcement of its own App Store guidelines, unpredictable content decisions and lapses in communication."

Japan's antitrust regulator has said it will focus more heavily on Apple following Epic Games' lawsuit, and some executives are beginning to speak out, despite fears of reprisal. One Tokyo-based developer, Hironao Kunimitsu wrote on Facebook:

"I want from the bottom of my heart Epic to win"

The report notes that iOS is extremely important to developers in Japan, especially game makers. The report continues:

Yet the App Store is particularly problematic, according to game developers, compared with Google's Android Play Store, where the approval process tends to be smoother and there's better communication. There's even a third-party service dubbed iOS Reject Rescue, designed to help developers navigate through the unpredictable approval process.

The creator of that service, Makoto Shoki stated that Apple's app review process "is often ambiguous, subjective and irrational" and that Apple's responses to developers "is often curt and boilerplate." Shoki further likened the relationship to "a servant asking the master what he wants next." They also suggested that Apple kept apps in the review queue waiting "as a sanction to a developer giving them the wrong attitude."

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The spotlight is very much on Apple and its App Store following the Epic Games lawsuit against the company, which has drawn plenty of public attention to what many perceive to be unfair and unscrupulous policies and application of the rules.