Fortnite Danced Itself Out of Apple and Google App Stores
Epic Games, makers of Infinity Blade, the Gears of War series, and, most topically, Fortnite, has just lost a major platform for its most popular game. Epic Games announced a “new direct-payment option for Fortnite to bypass the Apple App Store and Google Play Store 30% “tax” on in-app purchases,” according to Variety. In retaliation, Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their app stores.
Apple stated recently, after removing Fortnite, that “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines”. According to the statement, Epic Games had “enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple”. Apparently, “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”.
Google made a similar statement, following Apple’s footsteps in removing the game. A Google representative stated, “While ‘Fortnite’ remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.”
Apparently, Epic Games offered a 20% discount to players who purchased the in-app currency directly from the Epic Games Store instead of the Apple App Store or Google Play. They did this to bypass the “tax” that the app stores take out. This, obviously, did not sit well with the app stores.
Epic Games Suing Apple?
After Fortnite’s removal from the app stores, Epic Games announced a lawsuit against Apple, “accusing Apple of anticompetitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces,” according to Variety. In the lawsuit, Epic Games stated, “Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing ‘Fortnite’ from sale on the App Store”. By removing the game, Apple and Google have guaranteed that new users can’t download the game. They’ve also made sure that current users can’t update the game to the latest version.
In response to the lawsuit, Apple stated, “Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store”. The statement continued, “The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users.”