Just today Apple decided to ban Fortnite from its App Store, claiming Epic Games violated its store guidelines by utilizing its payment system. Previously, Epic Games announced that Fortnite players on all platforms can get permanent discounts when buying V-Bucks if they use direct payment. And in the process, circumventing App Store’s 30% cut from all of the store transactions. Through Epic Direct Payment, you only need to pay $7.99 for 1,000 V-Bucks instead of $9.99.
If you already have the game on iOS, don’t worry though, you are still able to access it. Quoting The Verge, below are Apple’s official statements regarding this issue, citing “fair” application of the guidelines and keeping the platform “safe”:
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.
Just this month Microsoft also complained about not being able to launch their Project xCloud streaming service on iOS because every single game that will be made available on any apps must comply with Apple’s approval. Interestingly back in 2016, Apple made a deal with Amazon to change its cut to 15% for Prime Videos subscription. Meanwhile, other apps like Netflix or Spotify decided not to sell subscriptions/put any payment option through the App Store in the first place. Currently, the Department of Justice and the European Commission are trying to investigate Apple of antitrust issues. Joining in with Fortnite’s battle against Apple, Fortnite had a special short revealed in-game. You can find that short below:
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has been waging “price wars” ever since they launched Epic Games Store; as a way to competing with Steam’s 30% revenue cut, making their store only take 12% cut from developers. The Android version of Fortnite also used to have its launcher as well instead of using Play Store. Do you think Epic’s brash moves will make a huge impact on the industry later on? Or Apple will just dismiss it after a few months? Share your thoughts in the comments below.