Apple has royally removed the Epic Games battle Fortnite from the App Store after the developer on Thursday implemented its own internal payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard tariff by 30 percent.
The decision marks a significant escalation in the dispute between Epic and one of the world ‘s most dominant mobile app countries. It also comes at a particularly crowded time for Apple as the iPhone maker navigates antitrust concerns about its App Store operation and the rules it imposes on some developers. Epic implemented its own payment system in the Android version of Fortnite also, but Google has not yet taken any action and the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple said in a statement about it Verge that it plans to work with Epic to “resolve these violations”; but that it does not intend to create a “special agreement” for the company. Here is the company statement in full:
Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating App Store guidelines that apply equally to any developer and are 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 that 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 any developer selling goods or services digital.
Epic has had apps in the App Store for a decade and has benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing and distribution that Apple offers to all developers. Epic agreed to the terms and instructions of the App Store, and we are pleased that they have built such a successful business in the App Store. The fact that their business interests now push them to push for a particular 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. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these breaches so that they can be returned to Fortnite in the App Store.
Epic ‘s approach seems designed to provoke Apple in a response, as well Fortnite studio clearly defined in its new iOS update how using the payment system within the Epic app would result in cheaper prices. For example, $ 1000 V, which is roughly equal to $ 10 in the game Fortnite currency, now costs only $ 7.99 if you use Epic direct payments instead of standard Apple payment processing. Normally, this amount of currency costs $ 9.99. Epic says that, in this case, the customers keep the extra savings, not the company. This established the new deal as a pro-consumer move instead of a greedy energy game.
For now, those who have already downloaded Fortnite on iOS are still able to enter the game; only new downloads are disabled as a result of the game being pulled from the Apple Store. You can still use the payment system within the Epic app, according to Teh Washington PostGene Park, who used both Apple and Epic payment systems to buy dollars v. It is unclear how the updates for Fortnite will work – some users who have downloaded the game but have not opened it in a while are reporting that the update files are still there; downloading normally – but it looks like Epic Trust would have to restart the game in the App Store to push for substantial future changes to the iOS version.
Ok, I just bought two thousand dollars v using the epic discount and the regular Apple price. Both still work. Apple can still raise solid money. pic.twitter.com/CgK6AYBbnm
– Gene Park (@GenePark) 13 August 2020
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has long complained that mobile app stores no longer justify the 30 percent cut they receive from all developers, and he has been calling for fundamental changes in the way companies like Apple and Google do business with third party developers. “It’s time for change,” Sweeney told Verge in 2018. “Manufacturers Apple, Google and Android make huge profits from the sale of their devices and do not in any way justify the 30 percent reduction.” Epic opened a PC gaming store in which it receives only 12 percent of revenue as a way to try to encourage a similar shift in rival Valve’s steam market.
The debate is bigger than the 30 percent cut. Apple is facing criticism these days over how it not only manages the App Store and its mandatory fees, but also about how it implements its guidelines in ways that some developers and critics think is unfair and in fact could have been created to take advantage of Apple from its competitors.
Apple, for example, recently gave Amazon a 30 percent tariff exemption when it sold TV shows and movie rentals through its Prime Video app, something the company says is only allowed for certain video streaming platforms. Moreover, court documents released during the Big Tech antitrust hearing last month revealed that Apple cut a special deal with Amazon in 2016 to cut the fees required for Prime Video subscriptions from 30 percent down to 15 percent for it. get the Amazon app in the App Store.
Meanwhile, four years later, Apple simply stated why it would never approve cloud gaming apps and gaming compatibility services like Microsoft’s xCloud and Xbox Game Pass, as well as Google Stadia. Apple’s reasoning for doing so – that it could not individually review all the games offered by cloud gaming platforms, as they would be standard iOS apps – provoked Sweeney to issue another harsh sentence. “Apple has outlawed metaverse,” he wrote on Twitter. “The principle they claim, taken literally, will exclude all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user-created formats: not just XCloud, Stadia and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox.”
Apple has ruled out the illegal law.
The principle they claim, taken literally, would exclude all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user-created modes: not just XCloud, Stadia and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox. https://t.co/OAGC7cXfSl
– Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2020
since from Fortnite first arrived on mobile in 2018, the game has existed as a standard iOS app; Sweeney has openly said that his company did it only because there is no other way to enter the closed ecosystem of Apple. This means that Apple has received 30 percent of all in-app purchases Fortnite coin used to buy its battle crossing subscription service and cosmetic skins, emotions and other digital goods that make battle royale one of the most lucrative entertainment features on the planet. Fortnite Epic earned $ 2.4 billion in 2018 and $ 1.8 billion in 2019, aided largely by its popularity across platforms, as players can use the same account across iOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Epic previously bypassed the Google Play Store on Android by releasing Fortnite as a direct download through its software launcher. But the studio was eventually challenged earlier this year after failing to appeal to Google for an exemption of similar cuts of 30 percent of all in-app purchases. “After 18 months of Fortnite running Android outside the Google Play Store, we have reached a fundamental realization,” Epic said in a statement. “Google puts software that can be downloaded off Google Play at a disadvantage.”
Epic’s statement at the time was transparent about its dissatisfaction with the way Google, and by extension Apple, treat third-party software that disobeys its rules. Epic also later joined Match Group, the parent company of Tinder and other dating apps, in issuing statements of support for two ongoing antitrust investigations into Apple conducted by the European Union, launched just after Spotify and other creators of apps protested App Store policies that say unfairly punish Apple competitors.