Just hours after the release of Fortnite’s latest update offering a new direct payment method on iOS, Apple has blocked the gaming app on the App Store. In the latest version of the app, Epic Games introduced Epic Mega Drop which offered up to 20% discounts across all devices, Xbox One, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, and mobile.
Although the price of all items was reduced up to 20% on consoles and desktops, the new ‘Epic direct payment’ method for mobile became the reason for the iPhone manufacturer to block the app to prevent players from updating it. The new Epic direct payment allowed players to buy everything directly from Epic for a 20% lower cost than for a higher price via App Store.
To investigate the news, we searched for Fortnite on the iOS App Store, and on the web, in both searches, the gaming app did not show up results.
Apple Blocks Fortnite on App Store
Epic Games informed the players of the blocked access to Fortnite’s update on iOS by Apple in a press release. The company stated,
Apple has blocked Fortnite from the App Store, removing players’ ability to install and update the game on iOS devices, while instructing Epic to “remove the ‘Epic direct payment’ feature”. Apple is keeping prices high so they can collect 30% of consumer payments made in apps like Fortnite, and is blocking Fortnite in order to prevent Epic from passing on the savings from direct payments to players. Epic has taken legal action to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.
Epic Games further explained the reasons behind Apple’s block of the gaming app on the App Store,
Why are players blocked by Apple from updating Fortnite?
After we added direct Epic payments to save players up to 20%, Apple retaliated by blocking Fortnite players from installing and updating the game through the App Store. Apple demands that game developers use their payment processing service, which charges an exorbitant rate of 30%. Apple blocks developers from using more efficient payment methods such as Mastercard (including Apple Card), Visa, and Paypal, which charge rates of 2.5% to 3.5%, and therefore prevent developers from passing the savings on to customers.
When the update was announced, it immediately created a lot of buzz. It was the first time a developer had found a way to offer a direct payment method to completely cut out Apple from any share from its in-app revenues.
Today, we’re also introducing a new way to pay on iOS and Android: Epic direct payment. When you choose to use Epic direct payments, you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you.
The developer’s dissatisfaction with Apple’s App Store policy is well known. When European Commission began the investigation on Spotify ‘s complaint of Apple’s anti-competitive behavior, Epic Games and other developers spoke up against the unfair policy claiming that “to share a fraction of the in-app purchases results in increasing price which puts the consumer at a disadvantage.”
Apple’s App Store is half a trillion dollars eco-system with $20 billion revenue from gaming apps. It is no wonder that the tech giant wants to keep the 30% share in revenue policy in effect and chooses to ignore developers’ protests.
The same Fortnite Mega Drop update was released for Android on Google Play but, at the moment of writing, the app is available on the store without the latest update. “Epic Games has taken legal action to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces. The papers are available here.”
We knew Apple would not let such rebellious behavior go unnoticed. The company is known to pursue actions for more trivial issues like legal action against Prepear over logo trademark. What is your opinion on this struggle to break free by Epic Games and to maintain control by Apple? Let us know in the comments section that whose side you are on.