Fortnite Taken Down From Apple and Google Stores; Epic Sues Apple
Oh boy, a storm’s a-brewin’
Apple has pulled the iOS version of Fortnite from the Apple store amidst a payment change to the free-to-play Battle Royale, with the Google Play Store following suit. Epic Games has announced their in-game currency – V-Bucks – has had a price drop. However, there’s a catch. You only get the savings if you bypass Apple’s payment system altogether and purchase through Epic directly. Playing on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch has remained unchanged.
This way, Epic Games bypasses any royalty charges taken by Apple or Google. It’s a way to charge players less but still get the full amount of profit from player’s in-game purchases.
According to Apple, the payment update was never approved on their side and thus the app was to be taken down from the store until the “feature” was removed. In a statement made to GameSpot, Apple have said:
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.
Since the take-down, Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against the tech giant and even taken to social media with a parody of Apple’s famous “1984” advertisement about IBM. In the opening statement of said lawsuit, Epic Games’ even goes ahead to describe the previous business decisions by Apple that have made it the company it is today which:
In 1984, the fledgling Apple computer company released the Macintosh—the first mass-market, consumer-friendly home computer. The product launch was announced with a breathtaking advertisement evoking George Orwell’s 1984 that cast Apple as a beneficial, revolutionary force breaking IBM’s monopoly over the computing technology market. Apple’s founder Steve Jobs introduced the first showing of the 1984 advertisement by explaining, “it appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money . . . . Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”
This spoof advertisement ends with the hashtag #FreeFortnite, which has since been seen over social media sites, encouraging fans of the game to stand up against the take-down.
Since then, on the Fortnite website, a blog post has been put up, with Epic Games giving their side of the story along with Frequently Asked Questions for players who currently have the game downloaded on iOS.
As this story is evolving, we’ll bring you more updates as we get them.