The makers of what is currently perhaps the world’s most famous video game have sued Apple and Google. The Fortenite developers know in their fight against the digital giants 350 hundred million fans in the back.
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The “Fornite” developer company Epic Games introduced the possibility of buying content at a lower price on Apple’s iPhone and iPad as well as on devices with the Google system Android by avoiding in-app purchases. With this, Epic challenged the platforms. The reaction was immediate: “Fortnite” only disappeared from the app store for Apple’s mobile devices and a few hours later from Google’s Play Store. Epic promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple.
The dispute is essentially about the 30 percent of the price that Apple and Google withhold from in-app purchases. There has been criticism of the amount of the levy for some time – and in the case of Apple also of the fact that the developers cannot offer alternative payment methods for in-app purchases. The music service Spotify submitted a complaint to the competition authorities of the EU Commission.
With the advance on Thursday, Epic is now the spokesman for a downright rebellion against the system. The company let its users who play on iPhones and iPads know that even if they already have the app on their devices, they will be denied new content for the next “season” of “Fortnite”. And Epic called on customers to complain to Apple using the hashtag #FreeFortnite. Fortnite is used by more than 350 million players, according to Epic.
The situation is slightly different for users of Android devices: Google not only lets apps load from its own Play Store, but also from other sources. Apple rejects this approach with reference to the potential risks for users from crafted apps.
Apple pointed out that Epic violated the app store rules. “They apply equally to every developer and serve to keep the store safe for our users.” Epic introduced the new feature with the intention of violating the guidelines.
In any case, Google stressed that developers had to stick to the rules to stay in the Play Store. In the past few years, Epic had temporarily sold “Fortnite” on Android devices bypassing the Play Store.
Apple always states that by stipulating that in-app purchases have to be processed through the platform’s system, they want to protect customers from fraud. At the same time, some subscription services such as Netflix are allowed to conclude contracts with users on their own websites. The users can then log in on their iPhones and iPads – and the providers do not have to pay Apple.
Epic was well prepared for the showdown. The company not only quickly had a 60-page lawsuit ready, but also a video that parodied a legendary advertising clip of the group from the year. In “1984”, based on George Orwell’s book of the same name, Apple presented the rebellion against a totalitarian world. The clip shown in 1984 was intended to initiate Apple’s entry into the IBM-dominated PC market. Epic now recreated the video as a computer animation, the role of the dictator is played by a figure with a head in the form of an Apple logo.