Apple's App Store Fees Under Fire
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Apple's App Store Fees Under Fire from European Developers

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) has voiced its strong disapproval, via it's website, of Apple's revised fee structure for third-party app stores in Europe. This criticism comes in light of the upcoming Digital Markets Act set to be enforced in March, which mandates Apple to permit developers the creation and offering of new apps, including stores, outside of the App Store's ecosystem.

Apple's response to this new legislation has been to introduce a fee system that charges developers €0.50 for every download exceeding one million per year, including updates and re-downloads. This means that for every million downloads beyond the first, developers are expected to fork out a hefty €500,000 (approximately $542,000), a move that the EGDF has slammed as "anticompetitive."


Further aggravating the situation, Apple has imposed additional requirements that have been met with criticism. These include forcing developers to use Apple's payment system or a third-party one without offering multiple options, issuing "unnecessarily alarming warnings and cumbersome download flows" for those opting for third-party payment methods, and demanding a €1 million letter of credit from an A-rated financial institution for anyone wishing to launch their own third-party app store. Such measures, according to the EGDF, significantly hinder market access, especially for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) game publishers in Europe.

The federation's concerns extend beyond just the fee structure. They question whether Apple's new rules align with the Digital Markets Act's conditions or if they stand in violation, necessitating changes. The EGDF's disappointment is palpable, as they express concerns over the "regulatory uncertainty and poor enforcement of EU law," which they believe gives global industry giants an unfair advantage in introducing alternative third-party mobile marketplaces in the EU.

This sentiment is echoed by figures across the gaming industry, including Xbox president Sarah Bond and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who have also criticized Apple's new regulations. Ek went as far as to label the plan "a complete and total farce" and the €0.50 fee as "extortion, plain and simple."

As the gaming community watches closely, the debate over Apple's new fee structure highlights the ongoing struggle between large tech companies and developers over market control, fairness, and the future of app distribution in Europe.


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