Apple sued by Epic Games After Pulling Fortnite from App Store

Apple claims that Epic Games violated its terms of service and removed the app from its store.

Epic Games lawsuit against Apple app store (1)
PHOTO via @Shutterstock

On Thursday following the pulling of the very popular game Fortnite from its app store, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple

  • Tim Sweeney, co-founder and CEO of Epic, called Apple’s behaviour “absolutely disgusting”
  • Apple claims that Epic Games violated its terms of service and removed the app from its store.
  • Sony announced a 250 million dollars stake in Epic Games creator of Fortnite and Gears of War.

The problem with Epic Games is that Apple takes a big cut in in-app purchases. So, only as a last resort would they use it.

Apple claims that Epic Games violated its terms of service and removed the app from its store. Epic has now filed for preventive relief.

Falls out

For those who use Apple products, the only way to purchase apps is through the App Store. But 30% of purchases made through the store or apps downloaded from the store will be returned to Apple.

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When Epic Games tried to block the Gate Keeper by allowing users to purchase directly through the Fortnite app, Apple pulled it out of the store.

“Today,” said Apple in a statement, “Epic Game took the unfortunate step to violate App Store Guidelines, which were designed for all developers to use equally and to keep our users safe.”

For any developer to get the app in the Apple App Store, they have to agree to pay Apple 30% on every transaction. Although Fortnite PCs have their payment method, if a user first purchases the app through Apple, all subsequent purchases must go through Apple.

That 30% charge makes it harder for smaller applications to get off the ground, although this is not the only problem with the system. 

Since it is not possible to download the app on the Apple product without using the App Store, Apple has a full monopoly on app downloads and can charge higher for app developers. 

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Also, since this is the only store in town, being kicked out of the App Store is tantamount to a business death penalty. But the epic takes issue with the Apple system.

In a complaint to the district court, the company described Apple’s practices as “unfair and anti-competitive.” It also accuses the technology company of blocking other ways of downloading applications “in order to maintain its monopoly illegally.”

Tim Sweeney, co-founder and CEO of Epic, called Apple’s behaviour “absolutely disgusting” last month, arguing that the 30% charge was unreasonable.

Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite

A Fortnite has already taken the struggle to the masses by releasing a viral video accusing Apple of tyranny. Titled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnine”, the video pays homage to a popular Apple TV commercial since 1984, which was a parody of George Orwell’s novel.

At Fortnite Spoop, they replaced the rotten, talking apple with a dystopian dictator.

The final message of the video is also different. The original message reads: “On January 24th, Apple Computer will launch the Macintosh. You will see why 1984 does not look like ‘1984’. “”

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The parody video reads: “The epic game defines the App Store monopoly. Apple blocks Fortnite from a milliarde of devices in retaliation. Join the fight to prevent 2020 from becoming 1984. “

As of Friday afternoon, this ad is the # 5 most popular video on YouTube. It is worth noting that the only kind of app developer that can challenge Apple is a giant like Epic Games.

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