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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."
Apple's statement on removing Fortnite: pic.twitter.com/5BAAZXvtYc— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) August 13, 2020
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.
Fortnite Party Royale will premiere a new short: Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite. Join us at 4PM ET. pic.twitter.com/BWvndK3gDt— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2020
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.