Earlier today Fortnite was booted from the Apple App Store after they enabled a new payment system on their backend, making their in app currency cheaper but bypassing Apples’ 30% charge. Apple’s statement on the issue:
Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.
Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their 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. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.
Epic Game’s response couldn’t have been louder… they launched this lawsuit (PDF Link). Epic Games also launched the #FreeFortnite movement, explaining the situation from their perspective. Perhaps the most important aspect of that post is:
Why doesn’t Epic capitulate to Apple’s demand to remove Epic direct payment?
Epic believes that you have a right to save money thanks to using more efficient, new purchase options. Apple’s rules add a 30% tax on all of your purchases, and they punish game developers like us who offer direct payment options.
In breaking news, Fortnite has also been booted from the Google App Store for many of the same reasons. Android isn’t as much of a walled garden however, so Epic’s own store can remain and gamers can install games in other ways, so the impact wont be as profound. This move was obviously anticipated by Epic and could be a huge win for the indie development community.
Learn more in the video below.