Apple has pulled Epic Game’s wildly popular Fornite from its App Store, as the developer violated the tech giant’s in-app payment guidelines.
The move is a result of Epic Games enabling a direct payment feature to collect 100 percent of in-app purchases to avoid handing over Apple’s 30 percent cut of the payments.
However, the game maker is not taking the removal lightly and has initiated legal action against the Cupertino company because it is seeking to ‘unlawfully maintain its monopoly.’
‘Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100 percent monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market,’ Epic said in a statement.
Epic has been working to avoid dishing out fees to Apple and announced it would offer iOS users a discount on purchases if they go directly through their store instead of the App Store.
For instance, 1,000 V-bucks, which is about to $10 in-game currency, would costs $7.99 if users made purchases directly to Epic direct payment.
Apple takes a cut of between 15 percent and 30 percent for most payments made inside apps, though there are some exceptions for companies that already have a credit card on file with iPhone customers if they also offer an in-app payment that would benefit Apple.
‘The fact that their (Epic) business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users,’ Apple said in a statement.
Epic shared Apple’s announcement to remove Fornite on its website: ‘Apple has blocked your access to Fortnite on iOS devices! Take Action! #FreeFortnite.’
‘Epic has taken legal action to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.’
However, the game developer is offering users savings up to 20 percent on V-Bucks and real-money for every purchase on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, and on mobile when using select payment methods.
Those who have Fornite on their iOS powered device are still able to play, but it has disappeared to new users hoping to download it in the App Store.
Epic Games free-to-play battle-royal videogame ‘Fortnite’ has reached massive popularity among young gamers since its launch in 2017, and competes with Tencent Holdings’ ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’.
Although it may seem as the right move for Epic, the game developer was the top-grossing online video game in 201, as it took in a whopping $1.8 billion in sales.
The video game also took in more money in a single year than any game in history in 2019, according to Nielsen’s video game arm SuperData.
The figure was down 25 percent on the figure for the previous year, however it still remained in the number one spot almost three years after it was released.