But Sweeney’s crusade is driven as much by protecting Epic Games’ bottom line as it is by attempting to rein in the power and reach of the tech titans.
A 30% fee on new technologies in the future, Sweeney says, can stifle innovation. And more than that, “it’s going to be one of the worst dystopias you can imagine from the science fiction literature with a few corporations controlling not just digital items and games but everything,” he said.
But last month, a federal judge sided with Apple and refused to order the tech company to relist Fortnite in the Apple app store, saying, “The current predicament appears of its own making.”
A full hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 28.
Selling Ferraris to buy thousands of acres of land
Sweeney founded Epic Games in his parents’ basement in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., in the early 1990s and grew the business into a $17 billion gaming empire.
Along the way, he developed a fondness for fast cars. He once collected Lamborghinis and Ferraris, but has since given most of them up. He does, however, still have free v bucks generator a convertible Corvette.
“Which is an awesome car,” Sweeney said. “As much car as I need.”
He has purchased thousands of acres of land in North Carolina stretching out to the Blue Ridge Mountains. By some estimates, Sweeney is one of the largest private landowners in the state.
“Once you start comparing the cost of a Ferrari to the cost of acres of land, you realize that a Ferrari is about 100 acres of some really prime land that can be conserved in North Carolina and Ferraris seem like a pretty inexpedient use of money at that point,” Sweeney said.
When he is not studying flowers or salamanders out in nature, Sweeney has been watching developments from the court in his legal row with Apple and Google.
And sometimes, he logs onto Fortnite. He has played 1,600 multiplayer matches incognito, he told NPR.
“I have a name that nobody knows. I just go play randomly with groups of people and they have no idea who I am and we just have a good time together. I primarily play as the Jelly Skin,” said Sweeney, referring to the outfit, or “skin,” players on Fortnite choose.
“It looks super comedic. People expect the Jelly character to be really bad,” Sweeney said. “And I’m actually OK. So it leads to some interesting interactions.”