Epic Games and Apple have not been able to give a definition of ‘video game’

Protagonists of a long battle faced in court, Epic Games and Apple, two very active giants in the videogame industry, have not been able to give a univocal definition of “video game”.

In the final stages of the legal confrontation between the two companies, the judge asked both sides to define what exactly a video game was. This is because Epic Games claimed that Fortnite, thanks to elements such as Creation Mode and the Metaverse, constituted something larger and more complex than a simple video game. The judge who ruled at the end of the dispute, therefore, wanted to see more clearly by asking both parties for the descriptions of the term video game, which were however considered false and incomplete after being examined.

In summary, with regard to video games, the court has limited itself to saying that “they seem to require a certain level of interactivity or involvement existing between the player and the medium”. This constitutes a difference with the other means which are passively consumed. The court also states that, on a technological level, video games are actively “rendered or animated graphically” rather than being recorded.

The admittedly vague definition of a video game leads the court to affirm that Fortnite, despite its social and creative aspects, is still a video game. As Epic continues to market Fortnite as a video game and its users see it as such, the court chooses not to consider Battle Royale modes as more than a part of Fortnite itself.

After the lawsuit ends, Apple will have to allow other methods of purchase on its platforms. The Apple has for the moment said no to an official return of Fortnite on iOS.