Apple generated more than $100 million in commissions on Fortnite in the 30 months that Epic Games sold the video game title, and its associated assets, in Apple's App Store.
The revelation came Wednesday, during testimony at Northern California federal court trial, from Michael Schmid, an Apple executive who oversees business development for games on the App Store.
Apple’s revenue could actually be higher.
Unwilling to precisely pin down a revenue figure, Schmid responded that it would be “inappropriate” to disclose further information when asked under cross-examination if Apple’s haul exceeded $200 million. (The trial was covered by subscription news service Bloomberg.)
According to Sensor Tower, Fortnite players spent almost $1.2 billion on the game and various in-game tchotchkes over a 30-month period starting in 2018, with Apple collecting $354 million in revenue.
Schmid was testifying in a trial of Epic’s lawsuit against Apple, that was filed last fall when Epic pulled its app out of Apple’s App Store, resisting the 30% revenue sharing on App Store purchases that Apple charges, and Apple subsequently restricted its iPhone and iPad users from playing Fortnite on the devices.
Notably, Schmid also testified that Apple spent $1 million on marketing for Fornite in the last 11 months that it was sold through the App Store—a disclosure that Epic’s lawyer, Lauren Moskowitz called a “good deal,” relative to the revenue Apple reaped.
Epic is trying to convince the judge that Apple is taking an outsized cut relative to the services it provides. Epic has filed a similar suit in Australia against Google, alleging that its Google Play Store deploys similarly monopolistic practices.
With Apple pulling in $22 billion annually from commissions from app store sales, rival game makers, streaming companies, and many other outfits that need to sell their apps through Apple’s App Store in order to access the widely popular iPhone and iPad mobile devices, are watching these suits closely.
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