Update | Apple and Google ban Fortnite from their app stores, Epic responds with Apple lawsuit
Epic Games has taken moves to deliberately challenge Apple’s App Store policies, and to a lesser extent Google’s. The company has long taken issue with Apple’s 30 percent cut of any money generated through apps sold through the App Store and initiated a deliberate move with its hit game Fortnite to take payments through its app that bypasses Apple’s revenue measures. Apple responded by immediately removing the game from its App Store and Epic immediately responded in kind with a lawsuit against Apple.
Epic also initiated a similar move with Fortnite on the Google Play Store that has also seen the game removed there as well – a key difference is that the game can still be downloaded on Android devices directly through Epic using Android’s sideloading functionality. As with Apple, Google also takes a 30 percent cut of revenue generated through apps distributed through the Play Store. In both instances, Epic made an update to the Fortnite app that allowed customers to buy in-game currency (V-bucks) through the Epic store at a discounted price rather than pay the full amount through either Apple or Google’s retail channels.
Both Apple and Google state that Epic’s changes violated their respective store policies leading to the removal of Fortnite from both stores. Undoubtedly, both store platforms create a vast market for developers to tap into, however iOS users have no option but to download Fortnite through the App Store. Jailbreaking an iPhone or iPad aside, the App Store has long been considered monopolistic and anti-competitive by critics as sideloading apps on iPhones is not officially supported. Epic’s battle looks largely targeted at Apple at this stage because of this, although it is possible that it could launch a similar lawsuit against Google as it believes any 30 percent app revenue cut it generates is over the top.
Epic also created a trailer lampooning Apple's famous '1984' ad to highlight its position which we have embedded below.
UPDATE: Epic has now launched a lawsuit targeting the Google Play Store policies too.