Apple removed Epic Games Fortnite’s Battle Royale game from the App Store following the release of its own in-app payment system that bypasses Apple’s 30% fee. The move marks the start of a battle between Epic Games and one of the world’s most dominant mobile software markets.
This news also comes at a particularly difficult time for Apple, as the iPhone maker is reviewing how the App Store works and the rules it imposes on some developers. After its deletion, Epic Games revealed a series of carefully curated responses up front. A first referring to the antitrust trial which targets the Apple App Store. Then a protest video posted on YouTube and within Fortnite itself mocking the iconic iPhone maker ad, calling on players to come together under the hashtag #FreeFortnite to support his fight against Apple.
Apple said in a statement to The Verge that it plans to work with Epic to resolve these violations, but the company has no plans to create a special arrangement for the company. Epic also implemented its own payment system in the Android version of Fortnite, which led to Google taking similar action and removing the game from the Play Store. Android users, however, can still download Fortnite using Epic’s own app launcher, which it distributes independently through any mobile web browser.
As studio Fortnite explained, using Epic’s built-in payment system would result in lower prices. For example, 1,000 V-bucks, which roughly equates to $ 10 in the in-game Fortnite currency, now only costs $ 7.99 if you use Epic direct payment instead of the standard Apple payment processing. Normally this amount of currency costs $ 9.99. Epic says it will be the customers who will keep the extra savings, not the business.
From now only new downloads are blocked. Those who have already downloaded Fortnite on iOS can still access the game. You can even still use Epic’s built-in payment system.