Fortnite’s parent company Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Apple calling its actions as monopolistic, unreasonable and unlawful.
On Thursday morning, August 14, Epic Games – the creator of popular Fortnite game – introduced a new payment mechanism through its server-wide update. This update introduced a new direct payment option for gamers to purchase Fortnite’s in-game currency. As the option aimed at bypassing Apple’s and Google’s payment infrastructure, it certainly didn’t go well with the world’s two biggest mobile platforms. The result was that Fornite vanished from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store later on Thursday. Also, explaining this new payment option in its blog post, Epic wrote:
“Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply. If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”
Before rolling out this new payment option, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has already pointed Apple’s high payment cuts on its App Store. Rather, he also called out Apple saying it “outlawed the metaverse” and their charges were anti-competitive.
Apple has outlawed the metaverse.
The principle they state, taken literally, would rule out all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user created modes: not just XCloud, Stadia, and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. https://t.co/OAGC7cXfSl
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2020
Epic Games has decided to move court against Apple and filed a legal complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The gaming giant states:
“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”
Apple and Google Release Statements for Axing Fornite
In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple called Fornite’s direct payment options as an “unfortunate step”. The iPhone-maker also called this move as a violation of the App Store rules. In its statement, Apple wrote:
“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”.
It further added:
“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”.
On the other hand, Google also initiated a similar action on its marketplace. The company wrote:
“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play”.
Taking this battle two-front can be an uphill battle for Epic Games. Also, its removal from the two biggest mobile operating systems will reduce its reach drastically. Well, it will be interesting to see further developments.
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.