Apple has removed Fortnite from its App Store. The popular game was pulled out just hours after developer Epic Games introduced a direct payment method for in-app purchases, violating the App Store guidelines.
Introducing a direct payment method in an app housed on the App Store means Apple won’t get the 30-percent fee, which it normally takes from third-party developers selling digital items through their app. As a result, Fortnite studio is able to pass the savings to users through up to 20 percent price drop on their in-app purchases. For instance, it costs roughly $10 to buy 1,000 V-Bucks through App Store’s default payment method, but the same drops down to about $8 if you choose Epic’s direct payment.
Not only the Fortnite iOS app, Epic also updated the Android counterpart with its direct payment system. And Google has since removed the app from the Play Store, as it applies the same 30-percent standard fee for in-app payments.
For those who have already installed Fortnite on iOS, they can still access the game, but can’t make new downloads from the App Store. Epic notes that when Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4 releases, users won’t be able to play the new season on iOS. Luckily, Android users can still download and play Fortnite using Epic’s own app launcher which it circulates through mobile web browsers, or from Samsung Galaxy Store.
Epic says the direct payment system offers more choices to players while passing along the savings to players which is currently supported in countries like the US, UK, Canada, and India. Countries like Brazil, China, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea are yet to have the payment facility.
In response to Apple’s move, Epic has decided to take legal action against the tech giant. The game developer has filed a lawsuit citing Apple’s anti-competitive behavior in legal papers, followed by a blog post. Furthermore, Epic has also posted its own version of Apple’s iconic 1984 ad, mocking the iPhone maker’s App Store policies, under its #FreeFortnite campaign.
Previously, Spotify and Basecamp had also criticized Apple for its App Store policies.