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Fortnite Superhero

Superhero Bits: ‘Fortnite’ Announces Marvel Crossover ‘The Nexus War’, ‘The Flash’ Villain Rumors & More – /FILM

Fortnite - Marvel's Nexus War

How much is Batman: Ego going for on eBay now that it’s been mentioned as an influence on The Batman? What is the massive Marvel crossover event coming to Fortnite? Did you hear the original iteration of The Boys will appear in the second season? Will Reverse Flash be the main villain in The Flash movie? Want to see The New Mutants at a drive-in at The Rose Bowl arena? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

God of War art director Raf Grassetti shared a peek at some kind of Batman Beyond project in the works.

A copy of Batman: Ego comic book sold for $100 on eBay after being named an influence on The Batman.

Here’s a new commercial for Marvel’s Avengers that actually looks a lot more fun than the actual gameplay.

Valiant Entertainment is doing a second round of portfolio reviews in an effort to find new comic writers.

Raf Grassetti also shared a design for an updated version of Wolverine with a twist on his yellow spandex suit.

The Boys star Laz Alonso revealed season two will feature an appearance from the original roster of the squad.

Fortnite is launching some kind of massive Marvel crossover video game event with called The Nexus War.

HBO Max has denied new rumors that Zack Snyder’s Justice League will be released in September of 2021.

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Fortnite iPhones

iPhones with Fortnite installed hit eBay with prices as high as $10,000 – AppleInsider

Apple iPhones with Fortnite installed on them are being listed for sale on eBay with price tags as high as $10,000.

Earlier in August, Fortnite creator Epic Games baited Apple into removing the popular battle royale title from the App Store. But Apple has not decided to remove the app remotely from user devices, meaning anyone who previously installed Fortnite on their iPhone still has access to the game.

Some of those users want to cash in on Fortnite’s removal from the App Store. A search of eBay with the terms “iPhone Fortnite installed” or “Fortnite iPhone” turns up hundreds of listings with abnormally high prices attached to them.

An iPhone X with the game preinstalled was listed with an asking price of $10,000. That appears to be on the high end, since others ranged from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.

Business Insider reported on the listings earlier today.

Fortnite, of course, is a free-to-play game that doesn’t cost anything. More than that, it’s a cross-platform title that’s still available on plenty of other operating systems (in addition to Apple products that already had the game).

In other words, Fortnite players should be able to get their fix without shelling out thousands for a new iPhone.

Epic Games didn’t just bait Apple into removing Fortnite. It pulled a similar tactic on Google, and the game was also yanked from the Google Play Store. Epic Games is protesting the 15% to 30% commission that Apple and Google takes on in-app purchases, and has lodged twin lawsuits claiming the tech giants participate in anticompetitive practices.

Because of that, there also appear to be listings for Fortnite-equipped Android devices with unreasonable prices. There are a lot fewer Androids with Fortnite on eBay than there are iPhones, however.

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Fortnite Store

Did Fortnite just kill the App Store as we know it? – CNN

New York (CNN Business)Fortnite maker Epic Games sent shockwaves through the tech industry this week when it sued Apple and Google, claiming both companies’ app stores are monopolies. If Epic were to win the lawsuits, Apple and Google could be required to overhaul their businesses by making their app stores more favorable to developers.

The controversy arose Thursday when both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) kicked Fortnite out of their app stores. The companies claimed Epic violated their guidelines by announcing a way for players to buy in-game currency outside their proprietary payment systems.
The gaming company was prepared for battle. Epic quickly filed its suits and released a video parodying Apple’s iconic “1984” ad, casting Apple in the role of villain. It also threw Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” slogan back at the tech company, and accused the firm of having “relegated its motto to nearly an afterthought.”
Apple and Google have not commented on Epic Games’ lawsuit. But they both pointed out that their guidelines are aimed at all developers, to “keep the store safe” from security risks.
“Epic blew it up with their big PR campaign yesterday with videos ready to go and everything,” John Bergmayer, legal director of consumer rights group Public Knowledge, told CNN Business Friday. “They were baiting Apple and Google to take their apps down from the store.”
The complaints ran to 60 pages each, and Epic has big name representation; one its lawyers ran the Justice Department’s antitrust division during the Obama administration.
“Epic retaining Christine Varney is significant,” said Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director of the Open Markets Institute. “It shows Epic is serious about this suit.”
The company is asking the court to end Apple and Google’s allegedly anti-competitive conduct. It is not asking for any damages.
Here are the issues at play and what’s at stake.

How app stores work

Android, which is open source but owned by Google, controls 85.4% of the global operating system market, while Apple has 14.6%, according to IDC.
Every mobile app must go through their app stores, which take a standard 30% cut of revenue for any in-app purchases. Developers claim the fee is too high and stymies growth. Apple doesn’t allow outside apps to be downloaded on its devices, and neither company allows developers in its app stores to circumvent their payment systems.
While Google permits outside apps to be downloaded to Android devices, Epic has complained that going outside the Google-approved process is bogged down with security pop-ups and other software restrictions. Epic originally introduced Fortnite outside of the Google Play Store, but after 18 months it launched the game there in April.
In 2019, consumers bought about $61 billion of digital goods and services from Apple’s App Store, while Google Play users spent nearly $30 billion on apps, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
The new email service Hey.com found itself at odds with Apple after asking its users to subscribe and pay Hey on its own website rather than its iOS app. Founder David Heinemeier Hansson testified on the matter at a January hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, which is investigating Apple, Amazon, for potential anticompetitive behavior.
Hansson told CNN he’s also spoken to Justice Department antitrust officials about Hey.com’s experience with Apple.
Earlier this year, the European Commission opened two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store, citing a complaint by Spotify.

Is Apple or Google a monopoly?

In antitrust cases, perhaps the most crucial element is establishing what the market is, the better to show harm to competition. It is in Epic’s benefit to define the market as narrowly as possible, while Apple and Google will push for a broader interpretation.
In claiming that Apple monopolizes the distribution and purchase of iOS apps, Epic Games is “going to have to convince the judge that those are markets to begin with,” John Bergmayer, legal director of consumer rights group Public Knowledge told CNN Business.
For its part, Epic Games argues that since Apple controls one billion devices, there is no other way to reach these consumers.
But if Apple convinces the judge to view the market as only its smartphones, that makes its defense far easier. Apple has only a 13.3% of the global market share of the phone market.
Apple also could argue that the 30% fee for in-app purchases pays for running the App Store and reviewing apps to ensure they are not security risks, said Jeffrey Blumenfeld, a partner at Lowenstein Sandler.
“I have a very hard time believing that the result of this lawsuit is that the court says that Apple is not permitted to control distribution of apps through its own App Store,” said Blumenfeld. For the court to rule otherwise, it would have to be “pretty strongly convinced” that consumers would be better off in the long run, he said.

Potential outcomes

If Epic wins, Apple and Google could be ordered to allow developers to sell in-app purchases without giving the tech giants a cut, said Vaheesan. The court could also rule that Apple and Google are prohibited from bundling payment services with their app stores, allowing developers to be paid directly.
Alternatively, Apple and Google could simply settle with Epic and quietly change their policies.
If Epic loses, Bergmayer, the legal director for Public Knowledge, said “at least that highlights what the limits of antitrust law currently are, so people who want change can look to other avenues.” For instance, they could ask Congress to create new antitrust laws.
The case could take years, numerous lawyers told CNN Business. The 1974 antitrust case against AT&T, for example, took eight years to litigate and concluded with the company’s breakup into multiple businesses. (AT&T is the parent of Warner Media, which owns CNN.)
“I think [Epic winning the lawsuits] would be pretty good for the markets overall,” said Mitch Stoltz, senior staff attorney of the nonprofit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “You’d see more experimentation, you’d see more business models. You’d see more innovation.”

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Android Fortnite

Fortnite for Android has also been kicked off the Google Play Store – The Verge

Following its removal from the Apple App Store, Fortnite has also been kicked off of the Google Play Store for Android. Earlier today, Epic Games snuck in an update for both the iPhone and Android versions of the game that allowed users to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases instead of using the officially sanctioned system for both platforms.

What followed was a wild ride: Apple kicked Fortnite off the App Store, then Epic sued Apple, and finally there was an in-game video parodying Apple’s own 1984 commercial, positioning Apple itself as the monopolist.

Now, Google is in the conversation. As with Apple, Google requires that games use the Google Play system for in-app purchases. Although the Play Store’s rules are somewhat more lax than Apple’s when it comes to in-app purchases, Google does draw the line at games. It’s quite clear-cut: “Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.” Google’s system takes a 30 percent cut, just as Apple’s does.

Epic’s update earlier today ran afoul of that rule, and while Google took longer to make a decision to ban Fortnite over it than Apple, both companies reached the same conclusion.

Google’s statement:

The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.

A Google spokesperson emphasized to The Verge that Android is an open ecosystem that allows multiple stores and that Google Play’s policies need to apply equally to all developers. It has no problem with those other stores existing nor with Epic distributing its game on them, the spokesperson said.

You can still install Fortnite on Android, however. Epic itself points visitors to its website, where they can either download Fortnite through the Epic Games app or via the Samsung Galaxy Store on Samsung devices. This is different from iPhone and iPad, where it’s now impossible to install the game if you hadn’t already done so.

Epic has a history of tussling with Google over this Play Store rule. In August 2018, Epic pulled Fortnite from the Google Play Store and began distributing it directly. That is only possible because Android allows installs from third-party sources, though it does make that process seem a bit dangerous because of the security warnings that appear when you do.

Eighteen months later, Epic capitulated and put Fortnite back into the Google Play Store, though not without some very angry rhetoric about it. Here’s Epic’s statement from April 2020:

Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store.

An app as popular as Fortnite being installed via other means — specifically other stores — has the potential to lessen the centrality of the Google Play Store on Android — and maybe increase fragmentation. There are already competing stores — Samsung is pushing its own store heavily on its Android devices, for example. But in general, the Google Play Store has been the go-to software source for most people.

Epic is already actively encouraging users to also use the version that comes from Samsung’s store, telling users that they can get the discount that started this whole mess if they do: “You’ll find that V-Bucks and real-money offers are now discounted by up to 20% through the Epic Games app at epicgames.com and the Samsung Galaxy Store.”

If Epic can get users in the habit of using other stores, that could mean users will start to want to use other stores for other app installs. If you’ve used any recent Samsung Galaxy phone, you have seen it offer the option to handle the installs for some major apps. It could mean that Google may be able skirt a monopoly issue with its decision, it would argue that there is real competition for app stores on Android.

For just one other gaming-related example, look to Microsoft. Its upcoming Game Pass Ultimate streaming service (you know it as xCloud) will be available both on Google Play and on Samsung’s Galaxy Store. If you install it via Google Play, you won’t be able to purchase DLC content for Xbox games because of that 30 percent cut. If you happen to install it via Samsung’s store, however, you are able to make in-app purchases. Here’s Microsoft’s statement on the issue:

Our vision is to bring a complete, full-featured experience with in-app purchase capabilities to app stores. However, we are complying with all store policies and do not offer in-app purchases in some stores at this time. To access complete, in-app purchase capabilities, Samsung customers can download the Xbox Game Pass app from the Galaxy Store; SK Telecom customers can also get a complete experience through ONE Store.

(Meanwhile, Microsoft’s game streaming service isn’t allowed on the iPhone at all — and Microsoft isn’t happy about that, either.)

Given Epic’s outsized response to Apple’s ban — the lawsuit and the 1984 ad — it’s a sure bet that the company will have a response to Google as well. We’ll obviously let you know what that is when it happens.

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