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Epic’s Tim Sweeney reportedly blames Sony for preventing it from passing savings to players

PlayStation caught strays during Sweeney’s latest court appearance
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Sony has caught some stray bullets during today’s court appearance from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney.

Sweeney tried to blame the fact that Epic Games isn’t passing savings made from selling V-Bucks, the in-game currency used in Fortnite, through its own platform (so without having to pay fees to a third party) along to customers on Sony, according to The Verge. He’s quoted as saying: “We cannot sell out of PlayStation at a lower price than we sell on PlayStation.”

He continued by stating that this was standard practice for contracts made with PlayStation after Google’s lawyer insinuated that this was shady due to Sony being an Epic Games shareholder. As an example, 1,000 V-Bucks cost $8.99 USD on EGS as well as on consoles, meaning Epic makes more money off of V-Bucks sold via EGS. Theoretically, it could pass those savings to customers by making V-Bucks cheaper on EGS and still make as much as from consoles.

Fortnite ad attacking Apple and referencing Orwell's 1984.

Epic Games launched "Project Liberty" in 2020, a trap designed to force Apple and Google to okay Sweeney's demands.

However, consistent pricing everywhere was likely necessary to get Sony to agree to allow the cross-progression Fortnite players enjoy on its platforms in the first place – it would make little sense for Sony to allow Fortnite players to use skins on PlayStation that they bought for cheap somewhere else.

Epic and Google are currently locked in a legal battle surrounding the attempts by the developer and publisher to sell V-Bucks on the Google Play Store version of the game through other stores by showing players two different buttons: purchase V-Bucks on Play Store for a higher price (higher, because of Google’s fees) or purchase them through the Epic Game Store for a lower price (lower, because of the lack of fees for Google). Naturally, most players would choose the second option, opting to save money, and thus leading to a loss for Google.

Google argued that this is against the Play Store’s terms of service, throwing Fortnite out of its store as punishment.

Epic wants to force Google to let Fortnite back on the Play Store on top of allowing it to put the purchasing options described above into the game, essentially asking Google to stop enforcing its own policies – and that could have massive ramifications.

In today’s session, Sweeney said that it would be “awesome” if Epic could avoid paying Google any fees and stated that the company would make “billions of dollars” from such a solution. He pointed out that Microsoft and Apple were not making any money from V-Bucks being sold on a PC running Windows or a Mac running iOS.

Sweeney also admitted that Fortnite wasn’t doing as well on the Samsung Galaxy Store as it likely would on the Google Play Store.

Epic Games actually raised prices in Fortnite across the board earlier this year, as well as letting go a substantial amount of employees.