Apple Inc. and Google removed Fortnite from their app stores on Thursday, prompting lawsuits by the game’s creator, Epic Games Inc. The moves escalate a dispute between the companies that had been brewing in recent weeks.
After the game was kicked out of the App Store, the company apparently asked the game studio to remove it’s own payment interface from Fortnite immediately and to submit an updated version of the game for examination by Apple. If the Apple rule violations are not resolved by the end of the month, Epic will be thrown out of the Apple program. The game company is now trying to obtain an injunction against Apple to prevent the expulsion and to bring Fortnite back to the store.
Epic Games created the problem itself and could easily clear it up with a rule compliant update. They want to keep Epic as a member of the developer program and their apps in the store. An exception will not be made because it is not right to put their business interests above the rules that protect our customers.
An Alternative To Apple’s Payment Interface
The crux of the dispute are Apple’s specifications for the sale of digital content in iOS. With the exception of Amazon, they can only be billed with the payment interface. Epic Games has subsequently activated an option in Fortnite to purchase the game currency directly at a discount and pay by credit card. Apple then threw the game from the store. There are similar requirements specifically for app purchases in games. Users who have already loaded Fortnite can currently continue to play it on iPhone and also shop Epic Games own payment interface.
Epic has contacted other critical corporations in the past few weeks in order to build a coalition against the app store requirement and the Apple rules. Companies have already publicly backed Epic Games and welcomed the lawsuit against Apple. With a complaint to the commission, they have already initiated an investigation into Apple’s store practices.