The conflict between Steam and its newest challenger, the Epic Games Store, has thus far been a Cold War of sorts, but the other night on Twitter, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney threw down the proverbial gauntlet. In a series of Tweets responding to a question about whether Epic would ever reconsider its strategy of aggressively pursuing EGS-exclusive titles — a matter of much consternation among the PC gaming community as of late — Sweeney wrote, “If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives […] and consider putting our own games on Steam.”
Sweeney’s statement has, perhaps unsurprisingly, garnered quite the reaction from gamers and journalists, though maybe not the kind he was hoping for, given that its timing is mighty convenient, following the recent Polygon report into Epic’s treatment of its own Fortnite devs during the perpetual crunch following the game’s immense success.
And speaking of Fortnite, yet another lawsuit has been added to the seemingly endless list of Epic’s legal battles over Fortnite emotes. This time around, musician Leo Pellegrino is accusing epic of “misappropriating his likeness for the game’s ‘Phone It In’ emote.” Pellegrino is being represented by the same law firm that has represented other plaintiffs, including Alfonso Ribeiro and rapper 2 Milly, but this time around, Gamasutra reports, they’re taking a slightly different approach:
While those past cases focused on copyright infringement over the use of certain dance moves, Pellegrino is arguing that Epic’s use of his “trademark moves [that] have become inseparable from his persona and his life story” makes this a case of using his likeness without permission or compensation rather than copyright infringement.
Whether this tactic will allow Pellegrino to succeed where others have thus far failed remains to be seen, but it seems safe to say that the saga of the Fortnite emote lawsuits is far from over.
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