If you like keeping up to date on all of the news within the gaming community, you almost certainly have heard of the conflict between Apple and Fortnite. The creator of the legendary battle royale, Epic Games, recently filed a lawsuit after the mobile version of the game was removed from both the Appstore and from the Google Play store. While this may seem sudden and unnecessary, a lot has lead up to this moment.
Apple takes 30% of all revenue generated through the Appstore. Whether through in app purchases, subscriptions, or other payments made, every creator is subject to this fee every time they make a sale. Along with this, apple made it so that you can only make purchases through the Appstore, and has a rule where you cannot directly make purchases by putting your credit card into an app. While this may seem excessive, it is Apple’s way of protecting its users from being scammed, while making sure it can profit off of the platform that it created while still keeping the Appstore up and running.
Epic Games ended up violating this rule by allowing users to directly input their credit cards to pay for vbucks, the in game currency, while bypassing the Apple middle man. Epic made the argument that 30% is way too high of a percentage for Apple to make, saying that Epic has lost over $400 million because of it. While this is a lot of money, remember that this is only one of Fortnite’s revenue streams, and mobile Fortnite has made over one billion dollars for Epic alone.
On top of this, Epic also released a video mirroring one of Apple’s ad campaigns from the 1980s, where a woman throws a hammer into a giant screen showcasing big brother in front of thousands of people. Only in Epic’s version, they portrayed Apple as big brother.
The war of media that Epic games is playing didn’t just stop there. Epic is also hosting a large in game tournament to signify the last time all the platforms will play together, as mobile Fortnite will not be able to be updated and play with the other platforms. Along with this, a #FreeFortnite hat is currently being sold.
Epic isn’t the only one taking decisive action though. Apple recently threatened to have Epic Games’ creator pass removed from Unreal engine. Unfortunately for Apple though, a judge recently ruled that they can not do that. While they are allowed to keep Fortnite off of the Appstore, the judge ruled that the potential damage to Unreal engine and other developers that use it could be too strong, so it was best to keep them out of this conflict.
The battle between Epic and Apple is only just heating up. Who knows where this will go. Either Epic games is going to have to give in and accept Apple’s rules, or mobile Fortnite will be finished.