In a deliberate and calculated move last week, Epic Games updated Fortnite and declared war with a direct payment channel that will circumvent Apple’s and Google’s 30% fee on in-app purchases. In response, both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their app stores. Epic Games then filed suit against both Apple and Google, released a smear ad using Apple’s famous “1984” commercial, and started the hashtag “FreeFortnite” which has gone viral. Apple and Google seem to have played right into Epic’s paign.
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Important to note, this attempted coup involves more than Epic Games, Apple and Google. CEO Tim Sweeney claims that Epic Games is “fighting for open platforms and policy changes equally benefiting all developers.” Epic Games doesn’t want a sweetheart deal: it wants radical reform.
Now the question is: will this revolt devolve into background noise as was the case with Hey’s stance against Apple, or will it set a new precedent for the digital economy?
This week, Pacific Biosciences of California (PACB) raised nearly $87 million in a secondary equity offering, causing some excitement and an approximate 23% pop in the stock. With a strong balance sheet, PacBio should be able to improve its flagship Sequel II platform, enrich its clinical footprint, and expand its value proposition for translational research customers. Once upgraded, we believe Sequel II could be superior to category leader Illumina (ILMN) as measured by cost, accuracy, and features.