Epic Games, has antagonized the world’s most powerful technology giants since at least 2016.
That year, Mr. Sweeney, a self-described computer nerd with a slightly nervous energy, lashed out in an op-ed against Microsoft, saying it was attempting “sneaky maneuvers” to dominate personal computer games. He also knocked Facebook’s Oculus Rift app store as “disappointing” for not being as “open” as it claimed.
In 2018, Mr. Sweeney went at it again. He launched Fortnite v bucks generator, Epic’s popular video game, outside Google’s Play Store to bypass its app store fees, which he called a “tax” and “disproportionate.” And in January at an industry conference, he declared that “undue power has accrued to many of the participants who are not at the core of the industry.”
His mission to rein in the power of the tech companies has now reached a fever pitch. Mr. Sweeney is preparing for a protracted legal battle after Apple and Google banned Fortnite, which is played by more than 350 million people, from their stores this month for trying to get around its payment systems. In response, Epic sued both companies, accusing them of violating antitrust laws by forcing developers to use those payment systems.
Mr. Sweeney’s yearslong public crusade against the tech Goliaths suggests that the issue is not something he will easily drop. People close to him said the fight was not about money or ego. Instead, they said, it is firmly about principle.