Apple has removed Fortnite from its App Store because of a dispute over in-app purchases and Epic Games are taking them to court.
Epic Games is suing Apple because they’ve taken Fortnite off the App Store, as part of a long-running dispute regarding the 30% cut Apple takes from all in-app purchases.
On Thursday, Epic offered an option to buy V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency, directly from them at a 20% discount. This is against the App Store guidelines, which state that all payments have to go through them, so that Apple can claim their 30% of the revenues.
Epic clearly knew that this would cause Apple to remove Fortnite, as they filed their lawsuit within minutes of it happening. Indeed, the whole thing seems to be part of a complex plan by Epic to try and set-up their own app store as competition, just as they created a competitor to Steam on the PC.
As has already been pointed out by Epic, many non-gaming apps, including Uber and Amazon, already allow direct payments and it’s purely because Fortnite is a video game that Apple seem to be enforcing the rule.
Apple appears intent on upsetting major players in the games industry at the moment, having this month also prevented Microsoft from launching its Project xCloud streaming service on iOS – with Microsoft voicing similar complaints that video game-related apps are being treated unfairly.
Epic Games’ legal challenge seems to be so well planned it even references a Nineteen Eighty-Four parody that is currently running as a short film in the Party Royale mode. Apple famously used imagery from George Orwell’s book in an iconic 1984 TV ad, but Epic claim that they have now taken on the role of Big Brother themselves.
‘Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation’, states Epic’s lawsuit.
Epic are not seeking money from Apple but the right to set up their own store: ‘But for Apple’s illegal restraints, Epic would provide a competing app store on iOS device’.
‘Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers’, says the lawsuit in reference to Apple and Google.
If Epic win, and they must have good reason to think they can, it will open the floodgates for other companies and could fundamentally change Apple’s business model for smartphones forever.
Can I still play Fortnite on iPhone and iPad?
If you already have Fortnite installed on your iOS device then it will still work. However, you won’t be able to add new updates and that means it may stop working in the future, as new features and fixes are added that aren’t supported by the last version available on the App Store.
If you don’t have Fortnite installed on your device already then there is now no way to download it and it’ll only become an option again once Apple and Epic Games have settled their differences, which doesn’t sound like it’s going to be anytime soon.
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