Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Epic Games is set to get $350 million from Apple for what you may not know about Fortnite

After a six-year legal battle with Apple, video game industry maker Epic Games is turning its attention to Google and Amazon. On Friday, a U.S. judge awarded the technology company a $356 million judgment against Apple for infringing upon patents relating to online game streaming technology. The biggest winner in the settlement is Epic, which stands to rake in a little more than $200 million of the award.

Both major tech companies were named as defendants in the lawsuit. The case centered on the tech used in Epic’s popular Fortnite game, and included dozens of devices from all over the globe. Apple is only being ordered to pay $356 million, while Epic is attempting to collect the additional $349 million they believe Apple owes them for infringing on their patents. That money would be added to the $375 million Epic has already amassed over time from fines and sales and patent-infringement settlements.

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Jury’s verdict—$655 million—is $376 million more than the amount Epic sought. The company claimed it had invested $250 million in the technology in question.

On the heels of an initial trial in 2017, and a settlement in 2018, Apple appealed the initial verdict, claiming Epic was obligated to license the patents to Apple. Apple said it was a breach of contract, because Epic had already licensed its patents to Apple in the past.

“I’m convinced Epic made $250 million on $20 million in marketing and development costs,” Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court in San Jose, California, said during the second trial.

What does the ruling mean for Fortnite?

“Fortnite” is still one of the best-selling games on the planet, and is widely considered to be the best-selling games of all time. However, “Fortnite” is also widely marketed as “very addictive,” and it’s a game which has a tumultuous reputation, with players often coming down on each other (and themselves) when they argue over the video game world’s most famous healer, Shifty Shafts.

What would the judge’s decision have meant for “Fortnite?”

A total of $650 million for Google and Amazon; in addition to the $356 million awarded to Epic. It would have been a win for the game industry.

What does the ruling mean for Apple?

It would have made Apple a big winner, and it could have sent a strong message to other game developers. But Apple is claiming they are appealing the verdict — which means they may get a full hearing. They could win, they could lose.

When will this all end?

It’s hard to say, especially because the case is, more than likely, a long way from being over. Apple was a defendant, and Epic is now a plaintiff. The cases are separate, but both have appeals pending. And the 2017 trial was not ended by the recent ruling. That means there is a chance, however slight, that Apple could still win the appeal, which would leave Epic with the $350 million additional pot. Then, the terms of the agreement would go into effect—for a payout to Apple. Maybe $350 million would buy Epic in the end.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

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