Epic Games made a major splash last week when an update for Fortnite allowed players to purchase V-Bucks directly from the company, circumventing the 30% cut, which is collected on in-app purchases for apps that are available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Once Apple and Google realized that Epic introduced a direct pay option instead of using the built-in payment processing feature of the storefront apps, Fortnite was removed from both storefront apps, with Apple being the first to remove the game while Google announced the removal after a few hours.
A calculated risk
Despite Epic’s claim to champion better options for all app developers, it is quite clear that the company thought about the consequences in advance. As soon as Fortnite was removed from the App Store, Epic Games released an official press statement that underlined that the company is suing Apple for monopolistic practices.
A lawsuit against Google was also announced, but what started as an interesting power move is about to get more complicated. Epic has demanded an official injunction after Apple announced that it will revoke Unreal Engine developer support on August 28.
Points of view
Apple argues that the 30% fee paid for premium apps and in-app purchases is more than fair. Money collected via this fee is spent on the improvement of the App Store and the research & development of new features that make it better for developers and users.
While Android users have the option to install apps from an external source without issues, this is not the same in the case of Apple, which bars the installation of any apps that aren’t obtained from the App Store, arguing that apps featured in the storefront are secure and reliable.
Despite’s Apple’s sheer power, Epic Games can be quite determined, and it is likely that both sides will battle for dominance.
Willie Hahn, senior editor at The Trending Times, writes about the intersection between money and politics with a focus on lobbying and tech articles. Willie previously at the Android Authority and Vice. Willie can be reached by email.