Epic Games released a Fortnite update that allowed players to do payments directly in the app, effectively bypassing payment options in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. As a result, the two companies have banned the popular game from their app stores. This launched the latest saga between Epic, Apple, and Google, which now involves two lawsuits and a #FreeFortnite campaign.
Yesterday, Epic announced that Fortnite players could purchase V-bucks, or anything else in the game, in-app at permanently discounted prices. If purchased directly, players would get up to a 20% discount on items. If players choose to purchase through Apple or Google, they would still pay the original price to cover the 30% fee those companies collect on all payments.
Epic stated that if Apple and Google lowered these fees, the prices paid out of the app would also be lowered, just like the in-app purchase prices. However, Apple promptly removed Fortnite from the App Store, stating that Epic violated its guidelines.
Not long after the ban, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple. The Verge reports that the legal complaint seeks to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly.
The complaint reads, “Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, 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.”
Epic also retaliated by releasing “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” which directly mocks Apple’s “1984” ad they released to introduce the original Macintosh computer. The video says, “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’”
Google Joins Apple in a Ban
Fortnite was also taken off the Google Play Store for Android on Thursday, although users can still download the app directly from Epic Games. Mirroring their response to Apple’s removal, Epic Games sued Google. This also isn’t the first battle between Epic and Google.
In 2018, Epic took Fortnite off the Google Play Store because of the same 30% fee they collect from purchases. Back in April of this year, Fortnite returned to the Google Play Store.
For now, Fortnite is still playable on both Android and Apple devices that have already installed the app. However, Apple users won’t be able to access the updated Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4 if Apple doesn’t change its rules and reverse its ban when it’s released.
Epic’s full parody of Apple’s “1984” can be seen below.