In an astonishing sequence of events, Epic Games, the developers behind the wildly popular Fortnite game, sues Apple over the removal of the app from the app stores. Epic Games filed their antitrust lawsuits against Apple on August 13, 2020.
The move by Apple comes after Epic Games released a new payment feature in the game. Apple cites this as a violation of their 'in-app payment guidelines.' Essentially, the payment feature allows users to make purchases directly to Epic, rather than going through the app stores. Since Apple takes anywhere from 15 to 30 percent on in-app transactions, you can see why they might be a wee bit upset about the new payment feature.
"3. This case concerns Apple’s use of a series of anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices in markets for (i) the distribution of software applications (“apps”) to users of mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets, and (ii) the processing of consumers’ payments for digital content used within iOS mobile apps (“in-app content”). Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., iPhone and iPad) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the App Store, where Apple exacts an oppressive 30% tax on the sale of every app. Apple also requires software developers who wish to sell "
Epic is not seeking any money through the court action, instead they seek injunctions to put a stop the app stores "unfair" policies.
Not long after the app removal, Epic launched a social media campaign. The hashtag #FreeFortnite was introduced to raise awareness among its loyal followers. Users are encouraged to seek refunds from the app stores if they have been negatively affected by the removal.
Also, Epic produced a short parody video clip that cleverly draws from Apple's 1984 product launch.
Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices.— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2020
Visit https://t.co/K3S07w5uEk and join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming "1984" https://t.co/tpsiCW4gqK
What do you think about the move by Epic Games? Should there be an alternative way to make an in-app purchase? Can Epic truly have it both ways? I'm not sure exactly how this will all pan out for Epic, especially when it comes to Apple as iOS is an entirely closed system. Either way, we will be watching this story closely.