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Epic Games vs Google & Apple: Why was Fortnite banned from the App Store?

Image Credits: gameriv.com
Image Credits: gameriv.com
Rishabh B.

We all are thankful for the fact that Fortnite is a free to play game. Its revenue is generated via players who make in-game purchases. This has proved to be a brilliant model, and the game has generated more than $4 billion over 2018 and 2019.

However, it has now gotten into a spat with Apple, which has led to the game being kicked off Apple's App Store. Since then, Epic has filed a lawsuit against the tech giants.

The move was followed by Google removing Fortnite from the Play Store as well, although Android users can still download the game directly from the website of Epic Games. In this article, we look at how the entire situation arose.

Why did Apple block Fortnite?

As Apple and Google take 30% percent cuts from the total revenue on their respective App stores, Epic had decided to set up a different system for Fortnite. Users could directly pay Epic, or choose to make a larger payment via the App Store. For example, when buying 1000 V-bucks, Fortnite users can pay Epic a sum of $7.99 directly, or make a payment of $9.99 via the Store.

As one would expect, Apple was not at all happy with this, and decided to pull the game from the Store altogether. Google followed this move and pulled Fortnite off the Play Store, hours later. Epic has now filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google.

Will Fortnite return to the app store?

In the lawsuit, Epic alleges that Apple has been guilty of employing anti-competitive practices for app distribution and related payments. As it seems, Epic is not looking for any compensation, and wants Apple to roll back the 'anti-competitive practices' and allow for fair competition.

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To explain, Epic illustrated that the 30% fees Apple levies, is ten times more than companies like PayPal or Stripe, that charge only around 3%. You can see the legal papers Epic filed in the following tweet.

Further, Epic also released a satirical ad, which was a parody of Apple's famous '1984' commercial. The advertisement was inspired by George Orwell's book and likened Apple to the proverbial 'Big Brother,' a character in the book that stood as a symbol of excess control on people's lives. You can watch the video and its comparison with Apple's original ad below.

As it seems, the lawsuit does not look like it will conclude anytime soon, and it might be a long time until we see Fortnite return to Apple's or Google's App store. The satirical ad was released via the following tweet.


Edited by Utkarsh Rampal

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