Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on the state of the gaming industry

we're joined now by tim sweeney um epic

games just closed a 250 million dollar

investment from sony valuing epic at 18

billion dollars tim thanks so much for

joining us today

after that big news earlier this month

oh thank you very much for having me

so tim um i want to start off with

fortnite and your gaming

platforms what are you seeing in terms

of user engagement and activity

during this stay-at-home period of covid

well you know people are uh since they

can't get together in person they're

getting together online and we're seeing

record levels of fortnight engagement

um and especially social engagement

people playing together with groups of

their friends

um you know since they can't get

together in the real world and it's been

really really great for building the

online community

i think it's interesting that fortnite

is kind of expanding beyond that core

gaming activity um with concerts you had

this big travis scott concert

over 27 million live views tell me a

little bit about where you're expanding

in terms of the types of activities

and events you're creating within that


yeah the concerts are just the very

beginning um we've had movie crossovers

for example star wars character is

appearing in fortnite

and marvel crossover

a vast number of things so far um but

you know this is just the very beginning

of the effort we want to

make it possible for any uh any

developer to bring their own content

into fortnite in any brand

um to have their presence known in

fortnite um

and rather than having one of these big

events every few months i have it

you know grow into an ongoing you know


echo system you know as you see on other

social platforms where

you don't need to do a deal with epic to

be online and to have your event

appear in fortnight

now tim you're sort of referencing epic

being more of an open platform

but you are taking a pretty public stand


apple and the 30 fees that they charge

in their app store

tell me what your position is on apple

and how you're trying to position

epic in in light of that well you know

apple invented the personal computer

industry right and uh the first uh

several generations of hardware were all

open platforms right here's my apple

tube um i brought it out just to


uh what it was like in the early days

anybody could write code you turned on

the machine you had a programming


anybody could release software users

could install software from any

any source of their choice and now um

you know apple is locked down

and crippled the ecosystem by imposing

you know

an absolute uh monopoly on this

distribution of software on monetization

of software and

they're preventing entire categories of

businesses and applications from being


in their ecosystem uh you know by virtue

of excluding competitors um from each

aspect of their business that they're


um it it's great to have you once again

it's john ford

i i wonder more broadly in the gaming

ecosystem isn't this a problem because i

look at ea

and what they do with games even on the


versus on the console there's reduced

flexibility and how a player can play a


from one pc to the next even once you've

bought it

you know they're kind of these

subscription regimes that are that are

very funky now i know you don't have

that in fortnight but that sort of makes

you unique

how does that get fixed well

the good news is the tech industry is

improving rapidly right

two years ago you could not be an xbox

player and play with players on

playstation or nintendo switch

platforms had rules preventing

communication between platforms

and over the past few years sony and

microsoft nintendo and all these

console platforms have opened up and

become very pro developer and pro

consumer in the way they enable

every game to connect all of their users

everywhere um

now the remaining barriers to uh fair

competition and really

robust evolution of the entire tech

industry ecosystem

are the store monopolies where apple

doesn't allow competitors

competing stores to exist on their

platform at all and google

intentionally stifles competing stores

by having you know

user interface barriers and obstructions

um to installation

um uh stifling competition and payment

if every developer could accept their

own payments um and avoid the 30 percent

tax imposed by apple and google

we could pass the savings along to all

of our consumers and

players would get a better deal on items

and you'd have economic competition

lowering the barrier to entry and

payments and seeing entirely new forms

of payment

matters and finally competition among

stores other stores need to be able to

exist and

thrive on these platforms so that you

can have stores competing for developers

business and every

end of this ecosystem being connected

and open as

as platforms have been as windows is

today and as the expectation

must be for multi-billion user consumer