Apple has removed Fortnite from the App Store following Epic Games’ decision to allow mobile players to purchase in-game currency directly from the developer.
“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,” says Apple in a statement to The Verge. “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.”
Apple goes on to say that they will “make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store” but they do not offer any possible timeline regarding when that could occur. Of course, unless a secondary arrangement is reached, you would have to suspect that Fortnite will not be added back to the store unless one side gives in to the other’s requests. That isn’t likely to happen soon as the Fortnite Twitter account just sent this out in response to this situation:
This other recent tweet also seems to be a clever response to Epic’s frustrations over Apple’s decision and policies:
Users are reporting that they’re still able to play Fortnite on their iOS devices, but you’ll no longer be able to download the mobile game from the App Store if you haven’t already done so. Furthermore, this will likely prevent Epic from being able to update the iOS version of the game.
Fortnite has also recently been removed from the Google Play Store. You are also still able to complete in-game purchases through the iOS version of Fortnite.
This stunning decision was seemingly made in response to Epic’s recent announcement that mobile Fortnite players would be able to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic rather than via the App Store. Epic says that they feel it was unfair for Apple to take a cut of all in-game transactions made through the App Store, especially when some services (such as Amazon) are either exempt from that percentage policy or otherwise benefit from some kind of special arrangement that allows them to pay Apple a smaller fee. Epic even allowed mobile users to purchase in-game currency directly from them at a reduced price in order to pass on the savings they earned by not having to pay Apple their 30% cut.
However, it seems that this problem is really about much more than the money Epic loses by paying Apple a cut. Not only was the Epic Games Store founded on the belief that developers shouldn’t have to pay such high fees to digital storefront providers (such as Valve/Steam), but Epic CEO Tim Sweeney recently commented on the news that Apple would block cloud gaming services such as Stadia and Project xCloud by stating that “Apple has outlawed the metaverse.”
At the moment, it certainly seems that Apple and Epic are at an impasse regarding this issue. We’ll bring you more information on this story as it becomes available.