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Roblox vs Apple | Justice Department Investigates the 'Loophole' Over App Developer Rules

Urian B., Tech Times

(Photo : Image from GettyImages) Roblox vs Apple | Justice Department Investigates the ‘Loophole’ Over App Developer Rules

The US Justice Department is currently investigating Apple over antitrust issues with Roblox being an area of interest for prosecutors that are trying to put together a case. With that, investigators are currently looking towards where the Cupertino giant is unevenly enforcing rules for app developers.

Apple ‘Unevenly’ Enforcing Rules for App Developers

As per the article by The Informant, prosecutors that are trying to put together a case are looking at Roblox as an area of interest. With that, investigators are currently looking for situations wherein Apple was found unevenly enforcing rules for app developers.

Roblox is a known online gaming platform that lets users play and program games that can be played along with other players as well. To add, users can create a number of mini games that can easily be accessed through the main Roblox app.

Epic v. Apple Trial

According to the story by MacRumors, during the Epic v. Apple trial, the former argued that Apple had actually given Roblox a “free pass” while preventing a number of other apps from doing something similar. With that, Epic Games equated Roblox to the Epic Games Store, which is an app that serves as a third-party alternative to the default App Store offering users access to certain games without having to pay Apple’s fees.

Epic Games offers access to major games that are created by other developers while Roblox games are created by the Roblox users themselves. As of the moment, however, the Roblox app is currently in the spotlight.

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Roblox Changed Its Offering of ‘Games’ to ‘Experiences’

After the Epic v. Apple trial, Roblox actually altered its website in order to clarify that it is offering “experiences” instead of just “games” which is a change made after Trystan Kosmynka, App Store executive, explained that Roblox had not violated App Store rules due to Apple not looking at Roblox content “as a game.” To add, Kosmynka noted that the experiences within Roblox were quite similar to those of Minecraft. 

The DOJ has been taking a look at certain details brought up during the Epic v. Apple trial and also just asked Roblox as well as other developers to give clarification as to the difference between game and experience. To add, Roblox has also been asked to explain why it chose to change the language on its website.

Apple Arcade is another topic of interest for the DOJ, with investigators asking developers as to whether the Apple Arcade game store has, in turn, made it more difficult for developers to be able to compete with Apple. With that, investigators are also looking into complaints that the Cupertino giant has restricted location access for certain third-party apps while still allowing its very own apps and services full access to the company’s location data.

Kosmynka: “If you think of a game or app, games are incredibly dynamic. Games have a beginning and end, there’s challenges in place. I look at the experiences that are in Roblox similar to the experiences in Minecraft.” Which are also not games, apparently.

— Adi Robertson (@thedextriarchy) May 6, 2021

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Written by Urian B.

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