Apple removes Fortnite from the App Store over Epic's alternative payment method

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,519   +574
Staff member
A hot potato: The war is on. Almost immediately after Epic launched an alternative payment method for Fortnite users that bypasses Apple's 30-percent App Store tax, Apple removed the game from the store. Epic isn't just lying down, however. It is suing the tech giant.

Shortly after Epic Games announced its Epic Direct Payment option for Fortnite, Apple removed the battle-royale game from the App Store. The removal came just hours after Epic issued its press release. Apple is apparently not messing around in enforcing its App Store tax.

Apple issued a statement saying that the move to bypass the App Store's in-app purchasing fees is a violation of store policy. It claims the guidelines ensure a level playing field for all developers in the App Store ecosystem and keeps its users "safe."

In response, Epic has already filed a lawsuit against the Cupertino powerhouse asking for injunctive relief, indicating that it expected such a response. The rival company also announced it would be streaming a short film called Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, a poke at Apple's 1984 ad for the Machintosh. The short will air at 4pm today, which also indicates Epic was ready for this.

There has not been a similar reaction from Google, but this story is still developing. We can likely expect Google to take similar measures to protect its bottom line. We will bring you more as the fight progresses.

In the meantime, put on your seat belts. Things are about to get ugly.

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derncricket

Posts: 11   +13
Apple never ceases to amaze me. They have their users so tied up. A user in my company the other day was trying to explain to me how Apple uses this special type of hard drive, thats kind of like a memory stick but it's storage. He was really impressed by Apple's inginuity. I just let it go. I did not bother to tell him that SSD's have been used all around the industry for several years now. He really thought Apple was ahead of the game. Apple user's are so out of the loop. And now they refuse to allow a game because it uses it's own payment system? Give me a break. Steve Jobs was a prick, and so are Apple users. Just like him.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 529   +367
TechSpot Elite
The first one that allows on the side downloads\installation bypassing their app stores altogether (Like in Windows now) is going to make a fortune. Even the general public will see an advantage in withholding business from a company that demands 30% which will be all profit while providing 0% of the work involved in its development.
 

Sean T

Posts: 21   +24
TechSpot Elite
Yet, Epic's Store requires developers to pay them for their app store. Once Epic let's developers use their store for free, they have being hypocrites. No now, I understand that Apple forces users to use their App Store, but no one is forced to buy Apple. Also, Apple does not have a monopoly on smartphones, so between the end user choice and the developer choice, I don't see how Epic will win in court. If Apple (or Google) lets one developer bypass their fee for managing and maintaining their app store, then every single developer will do this. Then what; Apple has to maintain an app store for zero payback? Good luck....

Ps. I agree that 30% seems high, but what do I know about an app store and what it takes to maintain it?
 
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Sean T

Posts: 21   +24
TechSpot Elite
The first one that allows on the side downloads\installation bypassing their app stores altogether (Like in Windows now) is going to make a fortune. Even the general public will see an advantage in withholding business from a company that demands 30% which will be all profit while providing 0% of the work involved in its development.
Huh? How does one make a fortune by charging $0.00 for a fully functional app store? Developers have already tried this. Guess what, they made less. If you want an example, see EA's Origin vs Steam. EA gave up finally and realized they sell less games and now they are back on Steam. It apparently takes a lot to maintain a successful app store and the fee for this access must pay off.

Not an Android user, but I thought you could sideload/bypass the App store in Android already? If so, are they making massive money for allowing this? I don't see it....

Now, I disagree with some of Apple's decisions and control of the app store(what the hell is their problem with game streaming services!!! That's a lawsuit that should be filed!). That can be another discussion.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 529   +367
TechSpot Elite
Huh? How does one make a fortune by charging $0.00 for a fully functional app store?
Just my opinion of course, but being able to do that would be a big draw to buy their phones and I can't help but wonder if it might be a substantial swing.
Not an Android user, but I thought you could sideload/bypass the App store in Android already?
I was for years and I don't remember being able to do that, not that it wasnt possible, I just don't remember anything other than free stuff being allowed outside of the store.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 223   +219
Apple never ceases to amaze me. They have their users so tied up. A user in my company the other day was trying to explain to me how Apple uses this special type of hard drive, thats kind of like a memory stick but it's storage. He was really impressed by Apple's inginuity. I just let it go. I did not bother to tell him that SSD's have been used all around the industry for several years now. He really thought Apple was ahead of the game. Apple user's are so out of the loop. And now they refuse to allow a game because it uses it's own payment system? Give me a break. Steve Jobs was a prick, and so are Apple users. Just like him.
Steve Jobs was a hack, and a con-artist, mind you a very good one, but that is the quality of being a marketing professional. People like him make money based on people's ignorance.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 223   +219
Just my opinion of course, but being able to do that would be a big draw to buy their phones and I can't help but wonder if it might be a substantial swing.

I was for years and I don't remember being able to do that, not that it wasnt possible, I just don't remember anything other than free stuff being allowed outside of the store.
Yes you can sideload apps that were paid for.
 
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S_Brideau

Posts: 66   +2
I don't expect Google to do anything on their end, they already allow in-app purchases.

Epic Games, I think, is big enough to go against Apple's monopoly.
 

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 236   +90
Companies and governments are start to rebel against app store monopoly. I am having no problem with 30% cut and to decide which product they want to sell in their store if it is not monopoly, but it is. And they cornering market not allowing competition, which is illegal in most country. They need to allow app install outside their store. Epic should be allow to run their own store on ios.
 

Hexic

Posts: 743   +780
TechSpot Elite
If one doesn’t like it, don’t buy an Apple device. I’m no fan of Apple by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s their ecosystem, and they can do what they want with it.

People can move to Android or other competing OSs if it truly bothers them. It’s not anti-competitive in any sort, it’s a business decision that Apple will either suffer or profit from; end of story.
 

Nicromancer

Posts: 13   +7
My suggestion:

Just release the game on Apple with higher price tag to compensate the 30% app store fee.
Both parties happy and Apple fan boy also feel superior as usual by paying more for less. One stone 3 birds.
 

Buhaj47

Posts: 90   +122
Actually, what's wrong with Apple charging a fee for apps/games avaiable in their app store? Does it have to do with the fact they don't allow an alternative app store on their platform?
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,543   +578
My suggestion:

Just release the game on Apple with higher price tag to compensate the 30% app store fee.
Both parties happy and Apple fan boy also feel superior as usual by paying more for less. One stone 3 birds.
That's not the problem, though. It's not buying the game app that is in question, it's continued purchases in the app later that are at issue, from what I am gathering on the various reports of this story. Essentially microtransactions - Epic wants to deal direct with users, Apple says no and forces all in-app transactions to be through Apple's store, or the app is not allowed on iOS.
 

Vrmithrax

Posts: 1,543   +578
Actually, what's wrong with Apple charging a fee for apps/games avaiable in their app store? Does it have to do with the fact they don't allow an alternative app store on their platform?
Pretty much this. They have a complete monopoly on iOS apps and games, no alternative method to get or pay for apps is readily available. Any app on their store must use the Apple payment ecosystem for buying the app, and later transactions within the app. So, iOS app developers have no choice but to follow Apple's rigid guidelines.

Google's Play store has a very similar requirement for apps on their store as well, but there is a key difference. Android is a different animal - there are multiple app store alternatives, you can sideload apps, essentially a handful of ways to not have to run everything through Google's system, if you don't want to. No monopoly in that case.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 223   +219
Apple paid out over $10 billion in 2019 alone from settling legal disputes. Not sure what you are implying, but Apple's legal department hasn't been very successful lately.
They also have over 20 cases still in litigation and still haven't settled suits based on the fappening.
 
Why do people accept Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo controlling their platform in totality but criticise Apple for doing the same?

If you don’t like it buy another brand phone / tablet, there’s the choice right there.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 223   +219
Why do people accept Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo controlling their platform in totality but criticise Apple for doing the same?

If you don’t like it buy another brand phone / tablet, there’s the choice right there.
Because they are a console specifically made they aren't a computer although they now share hardware Arch, a cell phone is a PC with call capabilities and can run multiple utilities and programs, a console does not do that they are more limited in functionality, one could argue you have a choice with cell phones you have 2 choices Apple IOS or Google Android so it would be like Windows only allowing windows store and blocking steam and other third party vendors, it's dumb and against legal convention, also you don't need a console, you need a cellphone and a PC in life otherwise you are unprepared for life.
 
Because they are a console specifically made they aren't a computer although they now share hardware Arch, a cell phone is a PC with call capabilities and can run multiple utilities and programs, a console does not do that they are more limited in functionality, one could argue you have a choice with cell phones you have 2 choices Apple IOS or Google Android so it would be like Windows only allowing windows store and blocking steam and other third party vendors, it's dumb and against legal convention, also you don't need a console, you need a cellphone and a PC in life otherwise you are unprepared for life.
Is the base argument that it has to be a computer? what about Microsoft taking the cut on their storefront on windows pcs then?

The argument boils down to a platform holder being able to dictate their own terms, and since we have seen this in many iterations (including consoles) it is relevant.

Regardless of how you break down what a thing is (I would argue consoles are also multi purpose considering you can watch netflix, tv, listen to music, broadcast to streaming platforms), it’s still a platform, made by the platform holder. Apple design the OS and the hardware. On purely an architectural level, they are FAR more akin to a console than a PC which is a conglomerate of pieces designed by different companies.

Honestly, this is an absolute waste of time and money by Epic. They won’t get anywhere against either Apple or Google.
 
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Rayneofpayne

Posts: 223   +219
Is the base argument that it has to be a computer? what about Microsoft taking the cut on their storefront on windows pcs then?

The argument boils down to a platform holder being able to dictate their own terms, and since we have seen this in many iterations (including consoles) it is relevant.

Regardless of how you break down what a thing is (I would argue consoles are also multi purpose considering you can watch netflix, tv, listen to music, broadcast to streaming platforms), it’s still a platform, made by the platform holder. Apple design the OS and the hardware. On purely an architectural level, they are FAR more akin to a console than a PC which is a conglomerate of pieces designed by different companies.

Honestly, this is an absolute waste of time and money by Epic. They won’t get anywhere against either Apple or Google.
Windows store isn't the only store allowed.....hence it's not a monopoly, Apple will lose for the same reason Microsoft back in the day lost the internet browser lawsuit.

Consoles use a PC architecture, I am not sure you understand that a Mac and a PC share little difference other than rebranded standards made proprietary and software.