Fascinating data from the Apple/Epic lawsuit.

If you want to start your own competing store, spend 11 million on buying the rights to various games, and that brings you 18 million players. So you spend less than a dollar to acquire a user, 10 dollars to acquire a customer:
Two observations: rights to older games are being sold at bargain prices. And AAA games with their more sophisticated business development teams can command higher licensing fees, but are worth it.

It is basically a money printing tree:
The document is a good study for anyone in sales and marketing, the 5-year projections and plans for sales are pretty good, and shows the plans they had at the time ("get more exclusives/increase value" vs "surf on userbase"):

Keep this in mind.

Fortnite might be making a pile of cash today, but it is brittle money - a fad and can go away at any time. They might or might not ever produce another Fortnite.

But a nice % cut on every game sold, that thing is sticky, and it is a business for life.
Another interesting tidbit.

Fortnite had reached an impasse in 2020, and Epic asked Apple for help growing. This is why Apple kept bringing up in their filings that "We helped Epic on X and Y" - they were stagnant.
Another great lesson for future game studios: mobile and PCs were a good way of acquiring customers, both the friction and low price, but they were not sticky - they moved to the consoles to play, despite the higher cost of acquisition
What I suspected (and tweeted last year), Fornite was no longer growing, the market was saturated, from the Finance report in Jan 2020 to the Board.

By April a plan is put in place, to add a separate payment system:

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More from @migueldeicaza

3 May
Opening slide decks in today's court case between Apple and Epic:


Good business lesson from Eddy Cue here: do not discount your product, instead, offer a voucher for additional value to your product:

Business lesson from Craig Federighi: buy networks, not products.

Increase your product value by creating networks (Minecraft, LinkedIn and GitHub are examples of networks with products that Microsoft acquired):

Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
This reminded me of another story.

We used to know this incredibly talented software programmer that was an artist, a genius, a visionary, and very strongly opinionated. He was ahead of his time. 1/
He truly created beautiful universes out of thin air in the computer, and this was back in 1997 or so when computers were slower, had fewer resources, and were very constrained.

He made magic happen on those old clunkers 2/
He loved programming in C, and was not very good at housekeeping. For those that do not know, C is a language where 90% of your time is spent being a pedantic accountant and performing housekeeping duties. 2/
Read 8 tweets
6 Apr
The way AI transformers work reminds me of the 1990's.

Back in the 90s in Gnome-land, PNG was not in wide use yet, and we needed some sort of transparency for images. So we used a library that faked it by using an uncommon color to mean "transparent" 1/
The uncommon color was some sort of magenta, and the idea was "nobody in their right mind would ever use magenta on an icon".

So magenta became the color to indicate "this pixel should be transparent".

This worked with all existing paint programs 2/
You could tell immediately there was a coding mistake when you saw an icon on the desktop with magenta on it. It was a clever hack that serves us for a few years until alpha channels became pervasive.
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep 20
Apple today filed their juicy bits, recap of where we are at:

* Epic Lawsuit 8/13
* Epic Motion for Temp Restraining Order (MTRO) 8/17
* Apple response to MTRO 8/21
* Apple Response to the 8/13 Lawsuit 9/8

Apple's response is here:


You might want to reference the original document when you get to their responses. It starts in page 4 of this document:

Wasn’t aware of this. An interesting bit on Apple’s response to Epic:
Read 5 tweets
19 Apr 20
The Andreessen Horowitz article making the rounds is rich.

This coming from the guy that funded all Republican Turds in Congress, and funds those nasty PACs you have seen me tweet about and then like Trump points the finger at others:
Here is a bold idea for the concerned VCs: Perhaps don’t get those turds that hate government and want to wipe out government funded. And let people that believe in science, regulation and social fairness run the show.
Should have read: “all those republican turds”
Read 8 tweets
21 Jan 20
When the Snowden spying scandal broke, I came up with a joke app idea: Patriot Chat would be a secure chat app that would encrypt all communications using peer to peer protocols, with a twist 1/
The twist was that it would also encrypt the messages with a set of trusted keys, from the NSA so the government could easily spy on you. 2/
The idea was to pitch this parody on Colbertian terms and pretending there was nothing wrong with it and it was your patriotic duty to use it. 3/
Read 14 tweets

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