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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has accused Apple of threatening to “crush the metaverse” or “extract all the profit from it” as both companies push forward with new augmented reality and virtual reality platforms. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Sweeney stated that Epic Games’ vision for a “unified” ecosystem must not become “another walled garden”, which he believes Apple currently operates with the App Store on iPhone and iPad.
Sweeney expressed concern that Apple could force developers to use its own metaverse engine, similar to the way it currently prohibits the use of competing browser engines. Epic Games’ CEO also emphasized the importance of robust antitrust laws to prevent Apple from amending all platform rules to “kill everything everybody is doing”. He believes that Apple will dominate the metaverse industry if it’s allowed to use its market power and hardware to do so.
Epic Games has a broad interest in the metaverse, with Sweeney saying the company wants to “compete in the engine space with Unreal Engine” and provide “server hosting in the future”. Additionally, Epic Games aims to have the best asset marketplace and create an open environment where companies can compete on their merits.
Apple is expected to announce its Reality Pro headset at WWDC in June, along with new software platforms to power the mixed-reality headset. However, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, is not keen on the term “metaverse” and believes it is important for people to understand what it means.
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The dispute between Apple and Epic Games over the App Store’s revenue-sharing model is already in court, with Epic Games accusing Apple of using its market power to stifle competition. The outcome of this legal battle could have a significant impact on the future of the metaverse and the technology industry as a whole.