Fortnite developer Epic on Thursday sued Apple after its hit game was removed from the app store for iPhone and iPad over direct payments dispute between the two companies.
At the heart of the debate was whether Epic has the right to include a direct payments service in its Fortnite app, circumventing Apple’s payments system and the up to 30% charge the company levies on each transaction.
Epic’s lawsuit, which the company said it filed Thursday, claimed Apple’s become a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation.”
“Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched and more pernicious than monopolies of yesteryear,” Epic further said in its suit. “Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.”
Apple earlier Thursday said it chose to pull the game from its App Store because it violated guidelines that Apple says it applies equally to every developer and is designed to keep the store safe.
“As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store,” Apple said in a statement, adding that it will work with Epic to resolve the issue. “Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.”
For now, iOS users who already have the game downloaded to their device still appear to be able to use the app in full, including the new approach to in-game microtransactions.
Getting 1,000 V-Bucks will cost you $9.99 if you go through Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store, but it’ll only set you back $7.99 if you pay Epic directly.
“Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply,” Epic wrote in a blog post about the discount. “If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”
Back in 2018, Epicthe Google Play Store as it launched Fortnite on Android. The company confirmed to CNET that it would’ve done the same on iOS if it could’ve. The game in April, but Epic criticized Google’s efforts to characterize “third-party software sources as malware.” Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on today’s news.
In a congressional antitrust hearinglast month, Apple boss Tim Cook defended his company’s commission as “comparable to or lower than commissions charged by the majority of our competitors.”
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