Apple has finally responded to the allegations made by Epic Games, the developers of popular battle royale game Fortnite, a few days ago. Apple has made it absolutely clear that there will be no policy exceptions for the game, as the game developers were looking for ways to bypass the Apple App Store payments system and avoid the cut of each transaction that has to be shared with Apple. Epic Games sneaked an update for the game and implemented their own in-app payment system which bypassed the App Store for in-app purchases and subscriptions, something that Apple has made very clear in the past, that they will not allow. Epic Games had also quickly filed legal complaints against Apple and Google, after the latter also kicked Fortnite off the Play Store for Android devices.
“Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion-dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers,” says Apple in an official statement shared with The Verge. The statement makes it clear that, “we won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.”
Just hours after Apple had booted Fortnite out of the App Store last week, Google also removed Fortnite from the Play Store for the same reason—for the sneaky inclusion of a payments system that bypasses Google’s Play Store transaction systems and therefore Google doesn’t get a share of the transactions. Apple and Google take a 30% share of the transactions, including in-app purchases, done via their respective application store platforms.
This isn’t the first time Epic Games has tried to have an argument with Apple and Google. They also had a tiff with Apple a few years ago and started out its journey on Android in 2018 by being an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy devices via the Samsung Store for a substantial amount of time. Epic Games also pulled Fortnite from the Google Play Store in August 2018 to take advantage of the fact that Google allows users to side-load apps on Android phones, and this allowed them to bypass paying any cut to Google. You can still download Fortnite from Epic Stores’ own website though. And those who have already download Fortnite on their Apple devices or Android phones and tablets can continue to play them as normal, nothing changes on that front. Only, new downloads aren’t available at the moment, till this latest tiff gets resolved.