The makers of what is currently perhaps one of the world’s most famous video games have sued Apple and Google. The Fortnite developers are furious about the game being removed from the both App Store and Play store. Find more on the subject.
The Fornite developer company Epic Games introduced the option of buying content at a lower price on Apple’s iPhone and iPad as well as on devices with the Google Android system, bypassing in-app purchases. With that, Epic challenged the platforms. The reaction from both the stores was immediate. Fortnite disappeared first from the app store for Apple’s mobile devices and a few hours later from Google’s Play Store. Epic promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google.
The dispute is essentially about 30 percent of the price that Apple and Google withhold from in-app purchases. There has been criticism of the huge amount levied upon the in-app purchases for some time and in the case of Apple also of the fact that the developers cannot offer alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. The music service Spotify also complained to the authorities of the European Commission, some time back.
With the advance on Thursday, Epic is now the spokesman for a downright rebellion against the system. The company let its users, who play on iPhones and iPads, know that even if they already have the app on their devices, they will be denied new content for the next season of Fortnite. Epic called on customers to complain to Apple using the hashtag #FreeFortnite. Fortnite is used by more than 350 million players, according to Epic.
The situation is somewhat different for users of Android devices. Google not only lets apps load from its Play Store but also other sources. Apple rejects this approach concerning the potential risks for users from crafted apps.
Apple pointed out that Epic violated the app store rules and rules apply equally to every developer and serve to keep the store safe for our users. Epic introduced the new feature with the intention of violating the guidelines. In any case, Google stressed that developers had to stick to the rules to stay in the Play Store. In the past few years, Epic had temporarily sold Fortnite on Android devices bypassing the Play Store.
Apple always states that by stipulating that in-app purchases have to be processed through the platform’s system, they want to protect customers from fraud. At the same time, some subscription services such as Netflix are allowed to conclude contracts with users on their own websites. The users can then log in on their iPhones and iPads and no fee must be paid to Apple.
Epic was well prepared for the showdown. The company not only quickly had a 60-page lawsuit ready, but also a video that parodied a legendary commercial from Apple from the year 1984. In 1984, Apple portrayed the rebellion against a totalitarian world based on George Orwell’s book of the same name. The clip shown in 1984 was intended to initiate Apple’s entry into the IBM- dominated PC market. Epic is now recreating the video as computer animation, the role of the dictator is played by a figure with a head in the form of an Apple logo.
It is yet to be seen if it is just a publicity stunt or a real campaign advocating the freedom from a high in-purchase fee. But it seems possible that other Apps might join the fight against these giants.