Fortnite is an online game developed by Epic Games, released in 2017. This is a cooperative shooter-survival game. In 2018 Fortnite won the Develop Award for Best Animation. Also, This game has 250 million players.
Alternative Payment System
On Thursday, August 13th, Epic Games introduced its own direct, in-app payment system for Fortnite. This payment works on all platforms and brought discounts of up to 20 % on V-bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency. On PC and console, this isn’t a problem. But on mobile devices, things get a little more controversial.
Both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store collect a 30% fee from in-game purchases. The new payment system gives players two choices. The first one is processing their in-app purchase through Apple or Google. Thus paying a few dollars more and allowing Apple Or Google to take their usual cut. Or bypassing this step altogether and paying a lower price directly to Epic. By introducing a direct payment system that sidesteps Apple’s fee, Epic Games has violated the App Store guidelines.
Why App Store and Google Play Removed Fortnite
In response to Epic Games implementing this direct payment system without Apple’s prior approval, App Store removed Fortnite.
In a statement, Apple said, “Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.”
Apple says it will “make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”
Google also took action against Fortnite. And removed it from the Google Play Store. In a statement to The Verge, a Google spokesperson said, “The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”
Why Did Epic Games Sue Apple?
Epic Games clearly anticipated Apple’s response to its actions. Between the #FreeFortnite tag and the Nineteen Eighty-Four parody video, Epic Games has also launched a lawsuit against Apple too, in its words, “end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion-dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”
In its updated Mega Drop FAQ, Epic Games took the opportunity to present its own thoughts on the behavior of mobile giants like Apple It states, “Epic’s position is that all mobile developers and consumers have the right to choose alternate payment providers that charge less, as is the norm on all other general-purpose computing platforms, including Web, Windows, and Mac. We expect to see a general change in smartphone practices industry-wide for all developers that bring greater value and freedom of choice to consumers. We expect Apple to unblock Fortnite.”
For additional up-to-date details, check up on our developing story on the Apple and Fortnite controversy.
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