It is no secret that Fortnite has been embroiled in an ‘Epic’ battle with Apple. In early August, the tech giant had decided to remove this game from its App Store. This move came because Epic Games had given users the option to circumvent Apple and directly make purchases through the former.
This meant that Fortnite users could save up to 20% of their money, as Apple levies a fee of around 30% on each transaction that happens via its store. As expected, Epic responded strongly to the move and filed a lawsuit.
According to the developers, Apple follows various ‘anti-competitive’ practices that discourage free and fair competition in the store. This was followed by a parody of 1984, where Apple was likened to the ‘Big Brother.’
In this article, we take stock of the current situation and assess whether Fortnite will be returning to the App Store in the near future.
Will the Apple vs Fortnite conflict see the game ever coming back to the App Store?
At the outset, the feud appears to be a rather lengthy affair. This is because of the extent of Epic’s response. Apart from the lawsuit, we have seen Epic CEO Tim Sweeney brand Apple as the most ‘manipulative’ business in the world.
Furthermore, various other companies, including Spotify and the Match Group (Tinder, OkCupid), have supported Epic in its cause.
Considering the extent of the lawsuit, it appears as though the companies in question will be involved in a rather tedious and protracted legal battle. This is expected to bear consequences for all apps in general, as Apple for long has been accused of running a monopoly on its store.
This isn’t to say that Apple hasn’t responded. While the levy of such a high fee is a matter that has brought it much criticism, there are other aspects that it has pointed to.
According to the tech giant, Fortnite was banned from the App Store not only because of the ‘alternate payment mechanism’.
In late August, Apple had said that Fortnite was removed due to a ‘lack of proper patch notes.’ While the reason did not make sense to most people, it allows the company to deflect attention from the arguably ‘anti-competitive practices’ that it has been alleged to follow.
While it cannot be said for sure when, or even if, Fortnite will make a return to Apple’s App Store, one thing is for certain. The ongoing legal battle looks set to take a long time to conclude. Everything else apart, this means that Fortnite will not be returning to the app store for a long time to come.Published 28 Sep 2020, 17:35 IST