- Fortnite got kicked off the App Store by Apple for bringing forth its own payment system in the game.
- Soon after, Google too removed Fortnite from Google Play Store.
On Thursday, Fortnite just got kicked out by Apple from the App Store. This took place after Epic Games introduced its own payment system in the game app which allowed for the company to dodge Apple’s 30% commission.
The latest update for the insanely popular battle royale game gave users the option to pay for in-game currency (V-Bucks) through the Apple App Store for what they had previously been paying or directly from Epic for a discounted price.
This resulted in Apple removing Fortnite for the violation of the company’s in-app purchases.
Google has also removed Fortnite from Google Play Store, after Epic also implemented its own payment system in the Android version of Fortnite. But further comments were not made. A spokesperson of Google however, stated that Epic Games have violated a rule requiring developers to use Google’s in-app billing system for products within video games.
In Twitter, Epic Games commented saying that it defied Apple’s monopoly, as a result of which it is getting blocked.
Then, after Fortnite was also kicked off Google Play Store, the company simply stated that “more information will be forthcoming soon.”
In a statement to Verge, Apple said that it plans to work with Epic to “resolve these violations” but it has no intentions to create and special arrangement for the company.
“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 benefitted 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 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.”
Epic Games also filed a legal complaint against Apple at the District Court of Northern California before the Google move came about, which reads, “This case concerns Apple’s use of a series of anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices in markets for the distribution of software applications (“apps”) to users of mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets, and (ii) the processing of consumers’ payments for digital content used within iOS mobile apps (“in-app content”). Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., iPhone and iPad) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the App Store, where Apple exacts an oppressive 30% tax on the sale of every app. Apple also requires software developers who wish to sell digital in-app content to those consumers to use a single payment processing option offered by Apple, In-App Purchase, which likewise carries a 30% tax.”
But Epic Games isn’t going to stop there. They have filed a parallel complaint against Google too, at the same court, which reads, “In 1998, Google was founded as an exciting young company with a unique motto: “Don’t Be Evil”. It then goes on to say, “Epic brings claims under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and under California law to end Google’s unlawful monopolization and anti-competitive restraints in two separate markets: (1) the market for the distribution of mobile apps to Android users and (2) the market for processing payments for digital content within Android mobile apps. Epic seeks to end Google’s unfair, monopolistic and anti- competitive actions in each of these markets, which harm device makers, app developers, app distributors, payment processors, and consumers.”
The Google spokesperson stated that “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.”
Epic Games pulled up an epic stunt to call out Apple for the practices it disagrees with by announcing a new short video called ‘Nineteen Eight- Fortnite- #FreeFortnite.’ The video is a parody of a famous Apple commercial.
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