In the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple, a couple of US brands have voiced support for the former. Now, it looks like a number of Japanese devs are also supporting the Fortnite maker, sort of, in what sounds like a case of “the enemy of my enemy”.
Bloomberg reports that Japan’s antitrust regulator will “step up attention” to the iPhone maker’s practices. Prominent people in the Japanese app industry have also started voicing their concerns aloud. Among them is mobile game maker Gumi. Its founder and chairman Hirano Kunimitsu said “I want from the bottom of my heart Epic to win”.
And it sounds like they extend beyond the 30% cut Apple takes. In fact, many devs don’t mind the cut, but want better service to make up for it.
Makoto Shoji, the founder of PrimeTheory, said that “Apple’s app review process is often ambiguous, subjective and irrational”. The fruit company often gives boilerplate responses as to why some apps don’t make the cut. He also suspects Apple either forgets an app is in the review queue, or leaves them there intentionally as punishment for the devs “giving them the wrong attitude”.
Other devs also say that Apple is very inconsistent, and even flips in its stance. The company will often have swimsuit characters approved in games, only for them to later be rejected with the argument that they are sexualised. The same goes for payment methods, as the iPhone maker will often approve of apps, only to change its mind weeks after launch while threatening app termination.
It’s interesting that such reports have not surfaced in other markets. This could suggest that it’s a problem that is unique to Japan. But it doesn’t change the fact that even Japanese devs have issues with Apple.