Fortnite removed from the App Store; Epic Games calls for Justice against Apple
Update: Google also removed Fortnite from Google Play. The alleged reason is the same as Apple’s: Epic Games has created its own payment method inside the store, which is prohibited, according to Google’s agreements to developers. The company said it’s willing to negotiate with Epic Games to bring Fortnite back to Android phones. Anyone who has downloaded the game can play it normally. Those who don’t have the game yet will not be able to download it anymore.
Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store, claiming that Epic Games broke the store’s payment rules. Epic filed legal documents within the California Justice to put the game back to the store.
The game, one of the most played games worldwide on mobile, PCs and consoles, allows purchases of V-Bucks (game currency) directly through the companies’ stores (Apple, Google, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo), but Epic Games claims that it’ s unfair to pay 30% to these companies for every sale for their game. Therefore, Epic created its own internal system for selling V-Bucks cheaper than in the Apple ecosystem, which violates the contract between the companies. Thus, Apple removed the game from its store. Without Fortnite, it’s about $ 10 million less in Apple cashier every month.
It’s not yet known whether other companies will follow the same path as Apple. So far, none have manifested themselves.
New players on iOS systems cannot download the game. Anyone who already has the game on the iPhone, iPad or Mac can play, at least until the next update. If the situation is not solved, the game will be blocked for all users of the system as it will not be possible to update for the next season. The new Fortnite season is expected to start in two weeks.
Epic Games’ precautionary measure was published on Twitter and cites Apple’s anti-competitive and monopolistic practices. The Fortnite owner also released a video, mentioning the famous “1984” advertisement for Apple II. The studio is using its base of millions of users to gain support in the battle against Apple and has created the hashtag #freefortnite on social media.
To The Verge website, Apple opened the possibility of negotiating a lower rate for Epic Games.
“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. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”
It was not the first time that Apple has made an exception about charging its fees to developers. In 2016, the $ 2 trillion company lowered the rate charged on new subscriptions to Amazon’s Prime Video, from 30% to 15%. Something that continues today.
The case must go to the United States Justice and the next few days and weeks will show how this clash of giants will end.
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