In A completely premeditated move Epic Games, developer of Fortnite, has caused Apple to remove its application from the App Store and has immediately sued the Cupertino company accusing it of monopoly.
A few hours ago it was already expected that she was going to get really fat with Fortnite and Apple. One of the most successful video games in history, thanks in part to Apple and its iPhones and iPads, it challenged the great American giant with an in-app payment system that skipped Apple. When entering the video game store, you were informed of two ways to pay:
- Directly from Epic (€ 7.99)
- Apple App Store (€ 10.99)
Apple’s response was immediate, immediately withdrawing the application from the App Store and launching a public note in which it indicated the violation of App Store rules as the cause of this withdrawal, standards that every developer must accept in order to submit their applications to Apple and have them posted in your store. Epic Games has not been slow to publish its lawsuit against Apple for abuse of dominant position, accusing it of monopoly for not allowing a parallel store to the App Store And as a certainty that all this was more than planned, it has published a video on YouTube parodying the famous advertisement for the first Macintosh in 1984.
Epic knew exactly what was going to happen, and it seems that their script has been fulfilled to the letter. The update that has allowed the new payment system that skips Apple has been done from within the game itself, not as an update in the App Store, because it knew that Apple would reject it, and it would not make so much trouble. Epic has sparked the response from Apple, which could have done even more, blocking any iPhone or iPad user from using Fortnite. It has only removed the app from the App Store, so users can continue playing the game, even if they delete it, they can download it from their purchase history.
However, there is a direct consequence of this withdrawal from the game: no new updates can be sent. And we are about to launch the new season (Chapter 2 Season 4), content that no iPhone or iPad user will be able to access if things continue as they are right now. The moment chosen to generate the biggest buzz could not have been more appropriate.
From here there is a long way in which Apple has the most to lose. And make no mistake, I am not talking about money, but about image. We are looking at what people will see as the classic David versus Goliath, and we always side with David, even if it is a company that has made billions of dollars with a free a priori game. Monopoly, abuse of a dominant position, infringement of free competition … these are words that Apple has been facing in recent weeks and that are sounding louder and louder. In Cupertino they have more than enough money to spend on attorneys to win this lawsuit, but the image burnout is significant, and may not be worth it.
Who is right? That is something that everyone will have to value. My opinion on this is clear, it may be different from yours. But what is undeniable is that Epic has played dirty, Apple has fallen into its network (it had no other possible way out), and the bad guy in the movie is going to be the Cupertino company, I have no doubt. Nor did I have any idea that Spotify was going to appear sooner rather than later rubbing his hands.