Apple and Google remove ‘Fortnite’ from their stores for using their own payment method. Hours is how long it took to get the response from Apple and Google to Epic Games for their risky decision to skip the rules of the App Store and the Play Store with ‘Fortnite’. After they decided to implement their own direct payment method to avoid the 30% commission to Apple and Google they have been kicked out of the entire iOS and Android store . In contrast, from Epic Games they assure that they have already taken the case before the authorities.
It is being the great controversy of Apple in recent months, the commission (abusive for some) of 30% that is taken from all purchases made in iOS applications , with certain exceptions to 15%. This figure has not been seen with good eyes by companies such as Spotify , Netflix , Basecamp with HEY or Epic Game among the latter, so they have either tried to avoid it or have directly filed formal complaints. In the case of Epic Games with ‘Fortnite’, both.
As for Google, the application has disappeared from the Play Store. When trying to download it by its URL the store indicates that the game is not available . In the case of Android, users have the advantage of being able to download the application from outside the store and install it on the Android device, although it is a more complex process and that is precisely why Epic Games decided to place ‘Fortnite’ in the Google Play Store in April this year after being away for a year and a half.
The perfect timing
Apple and Google remove ‘Fortnite’ from their stores for using their own payment method. ‘Fortnite’ has currently implemented its own payment method in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store . Apple was the first to respond to it and hours later Google did. According to The Verge , Apple has indicated that they will seek to resolve these rule violations with Epic Games, although there is no intention of reaching a special agreement for Epic Games. In Apple’s words to The Verge:
“Epic enabled a feature in their app that 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 all developers who sell digital goods or services. “
Interesting in this regard is the “with the express intention of violating the App Store guidelines.” Usually the main reason for avoiding the 30% is so that the company has extra benefits by not having to give Apple part of the income. In this case, Epic Games refers directly to the user , they have lowered the prices of in-app purchases with respect to those that existed when the Apple commission was in place, giving the consumer to understand that money is saved with the new payment method and that It is not Epic Games that benefits from it.
As a result, Epic Games has already announced that they have filed a formal complaint with the California courts . In the draft of the document sent, they accuse Apple of monopolizing the distribution of content in the iOS market and of anti-competitive behavior.
They have not stayed there. The campaign to denounce Apple’s (according to them) anticompetitive practices also includes a video in which they parody the legendary Apple ad ‘1984’ . The video recreates the original ad scene by scene but with characters from ‘Fortnite’ and changing the narration to refer to Apple as the absolute controller and not IBM as it happened in the original ad. It was originally published in an event within ‘Fortnite’, although it is also available on YouTube:
Currently both the European Commission and the United States are investigating Apple for alleged monopoly in its app store. It is not so much the fact that developers have to pay a commission for being in the store and benefiting from the platform (user base, distribution …) as having no other alternative to reach iOS users . This move by Epic Games comes at the right time to add fuel to the fire.
We will update the article if we get any updates.