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AppStore and Play Store Sued by Fortnite Makers

Sun Aug 16 2020

Epic Games, maker of hit online game Fortnite is suing Apple and Google over antitrust claims

Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, have started court proceedings after both Apple and Google removed the game from the App and Play stores.

For those that don’t know, Fortnite was originally launched in 2017 and is a free to play game that has become one of the highest earning apps of all time (if you need more info ask your kids!)

Last month alone saw over two million downloads of the game.

 

The issue has come because, whilst the game is free to download, Fortnite users are charged for in-game purchases such as new ‘skins’, weapons or other cosmetic changes.

Previously both Apple and Google would receive a cut of those earnings for any version of the game downloaded via their respective stores but last Thursday Epic Games announced they’d be offering a third route to their game, a direct download of Fortnite from themselves that would be at least 20% cheaper for in game purchases.

Elite Games has commented to say those discounts can be offered out of the percentage they were paying Apple and Google.

 

However…

Google and Apple have both taken this direct payment method as a means to try and bypass themselves (which it obviously is) and as a breach of their guidelines (to be tested in court).

This led to both companies removing Fortnite from their stores.

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We were compelled to remove Fortnite after Epic took unfortunate step of launching the direct payment option with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines. Our guidelines are meant to create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users.

Apple Spokesperson

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Google also commented to add that whilst they were still in communication with Epic Games…

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We have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.

Google Spokesperson

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In its lawsuit, Epic Games very clearly highlighted that they weren’t looking for monetary compensation for this move but were hoping the courts would rule that both Apple and Google couldn’t run their tech stores like this. They are in fact looking for injunctive relief, not just for themselves, but to allow fair competition for all software and games developers.

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Apple's payment system is monopolistic and illegal and they have designed policies to ensure that the App Store is the only distribution channel for developers to reach iOS app users.

The removal of Fortnite from App Store was yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.

Epic Games Spokesperson

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Sun Aug 16 2020

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