A dispute over the earnings model of Apple and Google has thrown the popular game Fortnite out of the App Store and Google Play. Gamemaker Epic has gone to court to undo that.
Epic had modified the payment options for Fortnite without permission of Apple and Google. From now on, payments would expire immediately and would no longer be facilitated by the two companies. Epic thus bypassed the 15 to 30 percent commission that Apple and Google charge app makers for each transaction.
Fortnite is free, but players can pay for extras, such as custom looks or special weapons. So Epic has to share that turnover with the tech giants.
Before Fortnite has been removed from the software stores, new players will no longer be able to download the game. Existing players will also no longer receive updates. Epic emphasizes that the game can still be played via other platforms, such as Xbox, Nintendo Switch or the pc.
Apple says that Epic has deliberately violated the terms of the App Store and therefore the company is justified to remove the game. According to a statement, the rules are intended to keep the playing field level for all developers.
Epic calls Apple “a juggernaut that wants to control markets, stop competition and stifle innovation”. According to the gaming company, it is bigger, more powerful and more harmful than previous monopolists.