Fortnite developer Epic Games has sued Apple and Google for removing its app from their respective stores. The tech giants said that the game developer violated store policies by bypassing them. Let us understand the whole matter.
Crux of the Matter
Battle Between Apple, Google, and Epic Games
Apple and Google removed Fortnite after the latest update which violated the terms and conditions of the stores. Epic games accused Apple of creating a monopoly in the market. Due to an ongoing lawsuit, one would not be able to run and download Fortnite on any iOS devices.
Apple and Google (wherever the game is listed) get a 30% commission on any inbuilt game purchase made by the users. The rest 70% goes to the developer. For Example, if someone buys a Gun skin in PUBG for ₹100 then ₹30 will go in the pockets of Apple or Google and ₹70 will go in Tencent’s pocket.
Why Pay 30%?
Epic Games was reluctant to pay a 30% share. It said that Google and Apple are earning money from various sources and still charging a high commission. In 2018, Epic Game launched a mobile version of Fortnite on the Android platform. To avoid paying a 30% commission to Google, it launched its private server to download the installation file (APK file). However in 2020, due to people’s preference to download apps from the play store on Android, the company launched the game on Android’s Play Store.
Beginning Of Saga
On August 13, Epic Games updated “Fortnite” and introduced an option to buy in-app items at a 20% discount directly from Epic Games. Thus, Google and Apple removed the app from their stores saying the company violated terms-of-service, and Epic Game sued both the companies in retaliation. As per the update, the revenue distribution would be as follows:
Epic Games has said that Apple’s App Store is a monopoly. It has launched a campaign called “Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984”. Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Game, which many companies and developers use to develop games. Apple has threatened to ban unreal engine access to all iOS and Mac developer tools. When Apple threatened to ban the engine, many companies extended their support against the move.
Special Treatment To Amazon?
Last month, during the antitrust law case hearing in the US, an email showed that Apple allowed Amazon to bypass Apple’s inbuilt payment system. Controversy arose when Apple took no action against Amazon. So far Apple has not allowed any company to bypass its payment system. Experts say that Apple controls small companies to maintain supremacy in the market. There is also speculation that Apple did not take any action against Amazon because the latter has an equal muscle to counter.
- The Fortnite World Cup 2019 was an esports competition based on the Fortnite, which took place in July 2019. An estimated 2.3 concurrent million viewers on Twitch and YouTube streaming services watched the World Cup finales
- “1984” is an American television commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. Originally a subject of contention within Apple, it has subsequently been called a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising.
- Since the removal of Fortnite from the App Store, iPhones with Fortnite pre-installed are listed on eBay for as much as $10,000. Apple removed the game citing policy infractions, but those who already had the game installed still have access to it.