Apple Escalates Epic Battle with Fortnite

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Apple has built itself a large comfortable place in the tech world, and there aren’t many who can survive going up against the company. There are many businesses and customers who don’t like Apple’s practices, but it’s such a behemoth in the industry, that it often gets its way. Epic Games decided to go up against Apple and its App Store practices with its Fortnite game, but now the gaming company has found itself between a rock and a hard place.

Epic Seeks Subscriptions without Apple

This battle started when Epic Games announced on April 13 that Fortnite players should seek subscriptions directly through them instead of going through Apple App Store.

This goes against Apple’s policies for adding an app. Yes, they take a large percentage of the profits – up to 30 percent – but in return, users are more apt to get apps that are safe to use. However, Epic made it worthwhile to users by telling them the subscription would be 20 percent less when purchased directly through them.

Epic Games is not the only developer that is upset with Apple’s policy. The frustration is that Apple can then offer its own apps much more cheaply, and of course, they’re keeping all the profits. Netflix and Spotify stopped selling subscriptions through the App Store as well, forcing users to visit their websites to sign up.

News Apple Fortnite Battle Characters

Apple has also run afoul of Facebook, Microsoft, etc., because of their business practices. Still, none of the other companies have been so upfront about shutting Apple out and announcing, as Epic did, its new “discount pricing” because it was eliminating Apple’s 30 percent cut of Fortnight as well as a similar cut that Google Play Store takes. Later, Google kicked it out of its app store as well.

Fortnite Locked Out of App Store

Apple responded to Epic’s bold move by removing Fortnite from the App Store, with claims that the company wanted a “special arrangement” that other developers don’t get.

It does hurt Fortnite users but not just yet. The game can still be played on Apple mobile devices, but Epic won’t be able to update the app with security fixes, meaning eventually Apple’s Fortnite fans will have to abandon it.

Epic, in response, is filing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. It’s explaining the situation to Fortnite’s Apple users by saying it won’t be able to play future versions of the game “because Apple has BLOCKED your ability to update, when Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4 releases, you will NOT be able to play the new season on iOS.”

News Apple Fortnite Battle Phone

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, even went on to complain in several posts about Apple’s practices on Twitter. He complimented them as being perhaps “the greatest” company that’s ever existed, but he also called them “fundamentally wrong.”

Apple spoke out against Epic Games as well after it removed Fortnite from the App Store. It explained Epic violated its guidelines “that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.” Apple vows to “make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”

This will cost Epic dearly. It’s estimated that in just over two years, Apple customers spent $1.2 billion on Fortnite. If you subtract Apple’s 30 percent cut, Epic still made $840 million. And remember, Google has dropped them as well, so they will also lose the Android business.

If you’re a Fortnite user on Apple’s iOS and iPadOS systems, get ready for a long fight or to give up your game or your device. Apple isn’t known for walking out of fights, and it doesn’t appear they will now either.

If you’re looking for other games to plan on iOS, here’s a list of 10 new iOS and Android games that.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

One comment

  1. 30% of Revenue, not Profit.

    So, if Epic sells Fortnite for $10, Apple takes $3, leaving Epic with $7 per game sold.
    Selling direct at $8, Epic gets, well, duh, $8.

    I don’t know how profits are affected with Epic’s new approach, depends on number of games sold vs. through Apple and what their costs per game are for each method. Epic’s financials are scarce (private company) but investors do like them.

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