Apple Bans Fortnite from App Store

Image: Epic Games

Apple has kicked Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular battle royale games, off of its App Store. The decision was prompted by developer Epic Games, which decided to implement its own in-app payment system to bypass Apple’s arguably draconian fees (the company collects a 30 percent commission from all digital purchases). Needless to say, Tim Cook wasn’t happy about that.

Epic Games predicted that this would happen, though. The developer has already released a video mocking Apple’s “1984” ad, which encourages Fortnite fans to support its “#FreeFornite” fight against the “App Store Monopoly.” “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly,” a passage in the video reads. “In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’”

According to a tweet on Fortnite’s official Twitter account, Epic has also filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The 62-page filing alleges that Apple is incredibly anti-competitive, citing its 30 percent App Store tax. The document also includes Fortnite photos, though we’re not sure any judge cares to see that.

Maybe there’s a silver lining to all of this. Will zoomers realize that Fortnite is a lot more fun on PC than mobile devices?

Here’s a statement that Apple sent to The Verge:

Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.

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