Dispute escalates: Fortnite is thrown out of the App Store, developer sued Apple

The criticism of Apple’s app store model is getting louder. From Thursday to Friday, a dispute between Epic Games, the development studio behind the hugely popular multiplayer shooter Fortnite, and Apple literally escalated. The consequence: Apple throws Fortnite out of the App Store without further ado, Epic Games responds with a lawsuit – and calls for people to join the fight against Apple’s App Store model.

Fortnite update violates app store rules

In the last few hours things went very quickly. Epic Games has released a new version of Fortnite in the App Store. Apple may not have examined the update too closely, however. With the update, Fortnite is introducing a new payment option for its in-app purchases that is processed outside the app store – and thus bypassing the 30 percent fee for sales in the app store. A clear violation of Apple’s guidelines.

The new payment option was offered in Fortnite parallel to the existing in-app billing. Specifically, the virtual game currency V-Bucks can be bought via in-app purchases, which in turn can be invested in cosmetic items and the like within the game. The regular price of 1,000 such V-Bucks is $ 9.99, with direct payment through Epic Games the currency package costs only $ 7.99.

Fortnite V-Bucks

Apple throws Fortnite from the App Store

Apple reacts shortly afterwards and throws what is currently the most popular multiplayer game from the App Store. “Epic Games took the regrettable step today to violate the App Store guidelines, which apply equally to all developers and ensure the safety of our users in the store. The Fortnite app has therefore been removed from the store”, so Apple in a statement. Epic Games deliberately violated these guidelines, it said.

Epic Games calls for battle

Epic Games has probably already expected this reaction – and deliberately provoked it. A video called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” was published on YouTube, based on Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial. At the end of the video, the hashtag #FreeFortnite calls for people to join the fight so that 2020 doesn’t turn into 1984. In addition, Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Apple for anti-competitive conditions.

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Google is also being sued

The terms in the App Store are not the only goal of Epic Games. Because the same Fortnite update with its own payment option, which offers in-app purchase cheaper, has also been released for Android. Google then banned Fortnite from the Play Store, whereupon Epic Games also brought a lawsuit against Google. Since apps can also be installed from other sources on Android, Fortnite is still available here.

Developers are fighting against Apple

Campaigns against Apple’s app store conditions have been gaining momentum in recent weeks. In Europe and the USA, there are also several investigations underway as to whether Apple is violating competition law with the App Store monopoly. Most recently it became known that Microsoft, like Google Stadia, is not allowed to offer its cloud gaming offer xCloud in the App Store.

Via MacRumors (1 | 2 | 3)

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