After Apple forcibly removed Fortnite from its App store shortly after microtransactions were discounted, Apple issued a statement. Apple removed the hit battle royale game from its App Store today shortly after Epic Games added its own in-app pay service. This move overshot Apple's 30% finders fee, which the mobile company says violates their standards and resulted in a ban.
The in-game payment system with Epic's own process was also implemented on Google's Android Store, though Google doesn't seem opposed as Apple does regarding what this means for Store placement. An Apple representative recently spoke to The Verge about the move to offer more clarity:
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.
Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. 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 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.
The move from Epic seems particularly provoking, specifically calling out a discount when using their in-app purchasing system versus using Apple's. Washington Post's Gene Park also corroborated that players can still access Fortnite through Apple devices, even using Epic's payment system:
Ok I just bought 2,000 v bucks using the epic discount and the regular Apple price. Both still worked. Apple can still collect fortnite money. pic.twitter.com/CgK6AYBbnm— Gene Park (@GenePark) August 13, 2020
Epic Games has made no secret in the past that he thinks that the 30% cut to Apple is antiquated and it seems like this move is meant to push for change, much like how the Epic Games Store aims to take on Valve with Steam.
With Fortnite being such a heavy contender when it comes to revenue and concurrent players, it seems an odd move to make on Apple's part to take the bait, especially when looking at the almost 2 billion dollars of revenue the game made just last year.
Update: Epic Games has officially filed legal papers in the complaint against Apple's move to remove Fortnite from its Store and claims that it violated terms.
Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices.— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2020
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