Epic Games' ability to go to war with Apple stems from its financial freedom, says CEO

After Epic Games quelled rumors of a coming IPO last week, Epic Games CEO has gone on record to say that Epic's independence from investors is a vital reason it can function as it does.

"We're still a highly independent company who's not beholden to public markets in which we have to show ever-increasing profits."

- Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says the company owes its ability to take risks to its independence.

Epic Games both endured and quelled its own share of IPO rumors this month, but the game giant's CEO Tim Sweeney seems keen to keep enjoying the freedoms afforded to the company by its continued independence.

That very freedom, he explains in a recent interview with CNN, is largely why Epic Games has been able to go head to head with companies like Apple and Google over how mobile storefronts and payment methods are handled on iOS and Android.

As discussed in detail in the full story, Epic Games' ongoing lawsuit with Apple (and, to a lesser degree, Google) has both shaken developer confidence in Unreal Engine's continued compatibility with Apple platforms and caused Epic's cash cow Fortnite to be indefinitely removed from iOS and cut off from players on that platform.

Sweeney argues that taking financial hits on either front wouldn't be an option if the company were publicly traded and at the whim of its shareholders.

"We're still a highly independent company who's not beholden to public markets in which we have to show ever-increasing profits," Sweeney tells CNN. "And anything like a fight like this [with Apple and Google], which loses us money for a year or more, would never be tolerated. So we have the financial independence to do that."

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