Epic vs. Apple: Is Roblox a “Game”? It May Decide The Lawsuit.

I’m going to show my age here, but I have no idea what Roblox is. I’ve heard my kid talk about the “game” mainly made up of user-created content in my peripheral. I use the quotations because that word is now referred to as “experiences” on Roblox’s website.
When logged into the website, a tab once called “Games” has been updated to read “Discover.” In addition, the term “players” was switched to “people.” This may not signal anything more than perhaps a branding change to a passerby or the average player. However, in the scope of the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games, it may be a huge deal.
In short, Apple wants to prove that games like Fortnite, Roblox, etc., are games. Therefore they must abide by Apple’s rules and fees. Epic is attempting to make their products on the App Store exempt from Apple’s 30% revenue cut it takes per purchase. The same is done over at the Google Play Store. Epic believes these fees and limited avenues for customers amount to antitrust violations.
That’s as basic as I can make it.
The Verge reported on the confusing game of words that is being played out. Just a clever term can change your product from a game to an app in the eyes of Apple. This circumventing of the terms was also confirmed by a 2017 e-mail from Trystan Kosmynka from Apple’s marketing division.
What is a game? Kosmynka defined it in the following way, “If you think of a game or app, games are incredibly dynamic, games have a beginning, an end, there’s challenges in place. I look at the experiences that are in Roblox similar to the experiences that are in Minecraft. These are maps. These are worlds. And they have boundaries in terms of what they’re capable of.
So, is Fortnite really a game since there’s no end and you create things in the game? Doubtful. It’s a competitive game where you build structures to defend yourself against the enemy. Fortnite does have a beginning and end of each match. It’s not just an open-ended sandbox with no point.
While I disagree that Apple or Google should be the only gateway for us to get games on the devices, playing these word games may blow up in Epic’s face. If they lose this court battle, it could set the consumer back even further.
What are your thoughts on the lawsuit? Is Roblox a game? Is Fortnite? Let us know in the comments.
[Source: The Verge]

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Mike Phalin
Mike Phalinhttp://syxxsense.com
Longtime problematic entertainment journalist. The former workhorse for Dread Central, ScienceFiction.com, and Fanbolt.

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