Epic to pull Fortnite: Save the World from Mac over 'App Store Tax' dispute with Apple

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,593   +606
Staff member
TL;DR: The latest casualty in Epic's war with Apple is Fortnite: Save the World. The co-op PvE shooter is not getting pulled by Apple directly, but it needs an update to continue working cross-platform without bugs. This cannot happen because Apple terminated Epic's developer accounts, so updates cannot be signed and made available to users.

Epic Games announced this week that it has to pull the plug on the macOS version of Fortnite: Save the World. Due to its ongoing legal dispute with Apple over the App Store tax, Apple revoked Fortnite developer accounts. Therefore, neither Fortnite: Save the World nor Fortnite: Battle Royale on any Apple platform can be updated.

The Fortnite Team says that the upcoming v14.20 rolling out to all other platforms causes bugs for players still on v13.40. Since it cannot sign updates to fix these issues, it will discontinue Save the World on macOS. Starting on Septemeber 23, 2020, the game will no longer be playable for Mac users. Players will be refunded, however.

"We are issuing a refund for all players who purchased any Save the World Founder's or Starter Packs (including Upgrades) and played Save the World on macOS between September 17, 2019, and September 17, 2020," the announcement reads. "Additionally, any purchased V-Bucks spent on Llamas on macOS in this period will also be refunded. As of today, September 17, 2020, Save the World Starter Packs will no longer be available for purchase on macOS."

Players do not need to request their refund. Epic will automatically credit their bank accounts, but it might take until October 2, 2020, to see the funds returned. Any V-bucks or items purchased or earned on players' accounts will not be lost. If users wish to continue playing on PC, PlayStation 4, or any other platform, all of their stuff will still be there, "thanks to cross-progression."

Epic added that Fortnite: Battle Royale will remain playable on macOS for now since it does not have any updates slated that will cause problems. However, keep in mind, Fortnite BR still can not receive any bug fixes for Mac, and a future update to other platforms may render the game unplayable at some point.

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m4a4

Posts: 2,008   +1,853
TechSpot Elite
Honestly, this just sounds like Apple being petty.
They should be dealing with Epic on the platform that they are hitting legally (iOS).

And ironically, it's just showing more anti-competitive BS by Apple considering there's no other easy way to get the app on Mac (because, you guessed it, Apple's walled garden).

Imagine if MS had it so you had to go through their tools and verification just to install your app without hitting a default security wall...
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 97   +139
How will Epic ever recover from this!? /s
Epic will be fine.

MAC OS counts for a tiny % of players. And Most iOS users will probably just switch over to playing on another device. The game plays great on a Switch so if anyone wants their mobile fortnite fix. There is the perfect answer.

Not a big fan of Epic, but Apple has been anti consumer for a long time.
 
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jonny888

Posts: 112   +157
Epic will be fine.

MAC OS counts for a tiny % of players. And Most iOS users will probably just switch over to playing on another device. The game plays great on a Switch so if anyone wants their mobile fortnite fix. There is the perfect answer.

Not a big fan of Epic, but Apple has been anti consumer for a long time.
The app store isn't anti-consumer. The claim being made is that it's anti-developer. Which is true or false depending on your perspective.
 

Featherawr

Posts: 9   +12
I like how Apple is so determined to break the law and not even hide it. They must think they're dealing with kangaroo courts, if they win their court case I guess we'll see whether that's true or not.
 

HotToz

Posts: 23   +27
The app store isn't anti-consumer. The claim being made is that it's anti-developer. Which is true or false depending on your perspective.
It is anti consumer because don't allow competition, competition mean better prices to consumers. Apple Store is a monopoly since no other store in the universe is allow to sales iOS apps. Some apps / subscriptions in apple store are more expensive that the ones offered for other platforms
 

jonny888

Posts: 112   +157
I like how Apple is so determined to break the law and not even hide it. They must think they're dealing with kangaroo courts, if they win their court case I guess we'll see whether that's true or not.
It doesn't seem clear to me that they are breaking the law. They aren't the only phone maker in the world. They aren't the only OS/app store in the world. They aren't even >50% of phone users. As a global ecosystem, they do not represent a monopoly. Developers have other choices.

The only way it can be considered a monopoly is if you're focussing solely within their own OS. In which case, that would be true.

But imagine if you'd designed a built a phone, then designed and build an operating system for that phone, then designed and built an app distribution platform for that OS, then designed and build a payment processor for that store, with R&D costs at every step. Then at the end someone comes along and tells you "Yeah that's great but you aren't allowed to take any % cut of money from my app and I want the right to push my software onto your device whether you like it or not". Sounds shitty right?

On the flip side, imagine you're a developer. You spend a load of time developing some really awesome software, designed to be as cheap possible. Then you find out that Apple wants 30% of your take if you want to reach their audience, despite little to no effort on their part for your own development. Doesn't sound great, right?

Honestly, I don't see a perfect solution. But the easiest option would seem to cap the % cut for Apple (and in theory all digital distributors) at a lower %. But then that's anti-free market so... Pick your poison :p
 
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MSIGamer

Posts: 36   +41
Americans are more concerned with what is and isn't strictly against the law than with thinking about what is right for each other.

The fact that Epic signed an agreement that gives Apple the right to do basically anything with Epic’s product doesn't mean that it's right for the costumer or for Epic.

Apple is basically a dictator that only allows you to sell your product on their store if you hand over all power to Apple. If you want different rules or don't agree with any one of their demands you are starved of sales and you die as an app developer in the world of Apple.

What good is a law when it empowers a dictatorship?
 
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quadibloc

Posts: 216   +127
I thought a court decided that Apple was not allowed to revoke Epic's developer accounts. So how is this happening? Without Apple being found in contempt, that is.
 

Xallisto

Posts: 100   +89
I thought a court decided that Apple was not allowed to revoke Epic's developer accounts. So how is this happening? Without Apple being found in contempt, that is.
Apple was going to ban the developer accounts of any app that used Unreal Engine, that was what they got stopped.

Their own developer account though was terminated.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,008   +1,853
TechSpot Elite
Apple was going to ban the developer accounts of any app that used Unreal Engine, that was what they got stopped.

Their own developer account though was terminated.
Close. They were going to terminate all accounts for the UE dev team, meaning they also wouldn't be able to update UE for Apple platforms.
Any 3rd party dev using UE would be indirectly affected because of the lack of updates that would've caused.
 
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eforce

Posts: 73   +58
In a free market it's quite simple, if you don't like Apple's policies then don't use them, getting the state involved to force their hand is tyrannical.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 23   +9
In a free market it's quite simple, if you don't like Apple's policies then don't use them, getting the state involved to force their hand is tyrannical.
Antitrust legislation is a core element of a functional free market. If Apple doesn't like that, they can go sell their garbage somewhere else.
 
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Featherawr

Posts: 9   +12
It doesn't seem clear to me that they are breaking the law. They aren't the only phone maker in the world. They aren't the only OS/app store in the world. They aren't even >50% of phone users. As a global ecosystem, they do not represent a monopoly. Developers have other choices.

The only way it can be considered a monopoly is if you're focussing solely within their own OS. In which case, that would be true.

But imagine if you'd designed a built a phone, then designed and build an operating system for that phone, then designed and built an app distribution platform for that OS, then designed and build a payment processor for that store, with R&D costs at every step. Then at the end someone comes along and tells you "Yeah that's great but you aren't allowed to take any % cut of money from my app and I want the right to push my software onto your device whether you like it or not". Sounds shitty right?

On the flip side, imagine you're a developer. You spend a load of time developing some really awesome software, designed to be as cheap possible. Then you find out that Apple wants 30% of your take if you want to reach their audience, despite little to no effort on their part for your own development. Doesn't sound great, right?

Honestly, I don't see a perfect solution. But the easiest option would seem to cap the % cut for Apple (and in theory all digital distributors) at a lower %. But then that's anti-free market so... Pick your poison :p
I don't think it's quite as simple as that, I mean just think about what free market capitalism represents. The reality is that these sort of business practices would never exist if there was more competition in the mobile OS market. The cost/profit ratio for Apple having apps on their app store is nowhere near what they're charging.

I guess you could say, they have cornered the market enough to allow them to gouge their customers.
 

Loadedaxe

Posts: 14   +8
Honestly, this just sounds like Apple being petty.
They should be dealing with Epic on the platform that they are hitting legally (iOS).

And ironically, it's just showing more anti-competitive BS by Apple considering there's no other easy way to get the app on Mac (because, you guessed it, Apple's walled garden).

Imagine if MS had it so you had to go through their tools and verification just to install your app without hitting a default security wall...
Thats what separates iOS from Windows.
 

Chemicalfacist

Posts: 13   +5
Epic will be fine.

MAC OS counts for a tiny % of players. And Most iOS users will probably just switch over to playing on another device. The game plays great on a Switch so if anyone wants their mobile fortnite fix. There is the perfect answer.

Not a big fan of Epic, but Apple has been anti consumer for a long time.
"/s" means sarcasm I belive
 

Endymio

Posts: 701   +565
I guess you could say, [Apple] has cornered the market enough to allow them to gouge their customers.
Antitrust law, however, does not protect the Epics of the world. Nor has Apple cornered the market, with their sub-majority market share.

I mean just think about what free market capitalism represents.
The best chance for opportunity, freedom, and self-enrichment for people worldwide?
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 97   +139
The app store isn't anti-consumer. The claim being made is that it's anti-developer. Which is true or false depending on your perspective.
Apple has grown to very much to be Anti-Consumer.... It is not even debatable. And the app store is itself is just as much anti-consumer as anything else.

While iOS has been making strides into allowing switching out apple services for Google. Its not as clean. Apple pushes their inferiors apps and limits features from competitors. I'm sorry but icloud sucks and for me it is nicer to just sync with google. Google Maps, Chome, Google Photos, etc. It works awesome for my wife.

I on the other hand won't use iOS as the lack of user options. Its Anti-Consumer. I should have the option to install apps outside of the store, I can do so on pretty much any other OS. But even Mac OS is making this harder on users. Its crazy. If they want to show that they are pro-consumer, allow me to do things I would normally not be able to do. Even my android phone allows me to root, but doing so I loose google pay. But on Android you really dont need to root for most things. I can SSH into my phone, change settings or install apps. Its nice. I've sideloaded plenty of apps in the past.

Apple computers no longer allow for easy memory or storage upgrades. It's sad. Apple used to be a very Pro-consumer. They used to take pride in easy upgrades any user could do. Batteries that were easy to swap, etc. The software was also open, non of that crap that kept people doing from what they love.

Instead they decided to go Windows Vista on Mac OS, getting security popups like crazy for everything you do. Its nuts. No more 32bit apps, etc. This is not the apple I grew up with.

As someone that grew up with ibook & macbook along with iPods. This new apple sucks.
 

jonny888

Posts: 112   +157
Apple has grown to very much to be Anti-Consumer.... It is not even debatable. And the app store is itself is just as much anti-consumer as anything else.

While iOS has been making strides into allowing switching out apple services for Google. Its not as clean. Apple pushes their inferiors apps and limits features from competitors. I'm sorry but icloud sucks and for me it is nicer to just sync with google. Google Maps, Chome, Google Photos, etc. It works awesome for my wife.

I on the other hand won't use iOS as the lack of user options. Its Anti-Consumer. I should have the option to install apps outside of the store, I can do so on pretty much any other OS. But even Mac OS is making this harder on users. Its crazy. If they want to show that they are pro-consumer, allow me to do things I would normally not be able to do. Even my android phone allows me to root, but doing so I loose google pay. But on Android you really dont need to root for most things. I can SSH into my phone, change settings or install apps. Its nice. I've sideloaded plenty of apps in the past.

Apple computers no longer allow for easy memory or storage upgrades. It's sad. Apple used to be a very Pro-consumer. They used to take pride in easy upgrades any user could do. Batteries that were easy to swap, etc. The software was also open, non of that crap that kept people doing from what they love.

Instead they decided to go Windows Vista on Mac OS, getting security popups like crazy for everything you do. Its nuts. No more 32bit apps, etc. This is not the apple I grew up with.

As someone that grew up with ibook & macbook along with iPods. This new apple sucks.
You're strawman-ing what I said. I said nothing about the consumer friendliness of their hardware upgrades. I didn't mention the iCloud service. I didn't mention root-ing their devices. I said nothing about Apple as a company in general. The _only_ thing I mentioned was the app store, since that's what this article is about.

I'm not saying what you mentioned isn't worthy of it's own separate discussion, but please don't misquote or twist what I said.
 

Featherawr

Posts: 9   +12
You're strawman-ing what I said. I said nothing about the consumer friendliness of their hardware upgrades. I didn't mention the iCloud service. I didn't mention root-ing their devices. I said nothing about Apple as a company in general. The _only_ thing I mentioned was the app store, since that's what this article is about.

I'm not saying what you mentioned isn't worthy of it's own separate discussion, but please don't misquote or twist what I said.
If it's anti-developer it is also anti-consumer, even if the developer simply opts to reduce profits in order to pay Apple's fee, that fee will still have an effect on the overall market (App Store) which in turn affects the consumer. Seems like you're working backwards from your conclusions which results in logical fallacy.

Also seems like like your ego is hurt and you're lashing out, maybe chill out a bit bud, the guys just trying to strike a conversation.