The consequential Fortnite v Apple lawsuit begins today, as Epic Games and Apple Inc. finally go to court after a long-drawn-out legal spat. On Monday, May 3rd, a California court will hear arguments for a petition filed by Epic Games against Apple over a payment issue that initially led to Fortnite being pulled from the App Store.
To sum it up, Apple's TOS forces app developers to use its internal payment system for in-app transactions, like cosmetics, emotes, etc. Apple asserts that its payment processing setup guarantees security and fairness. In return, the company takes a 30% commission on all sales through the app.
Epic Games attempted to bypass these regulations without informing Apple. As a result, Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store. It left approximately 63% of the mobile player base, or roughly 73 million iOS games, without access to the game in August 2020.
On the surface, the lawsuit is about royalty claims. However, its outcome could change how mobile transactions operate for all app developers on platforms such as the App Store and Google's Play Store.
While the legal outcome remains unclear, if the court rules in favor of Epic Games, it could be the start of a new paradigm. The dilemma would then become a tussle between moral and legal royalty cuts. This might stop players from bearing the brunt of paying extra for in-game transactions.
What does this mean for Fortnite Mobile for iOS players?
Despite the lawsuit making it to court, there is no guarantee that Epic Games will win. Given the many loopholes and the rights of American businesses to organize their internal affairs independently, the lawsuit's outcome may swing in either direction.
As the suit rages on, the game developer is ultimately at a loss for the time given that other major players are moving into the market. Apex Legends Mobile recently announced Battlefield Mobile. The game will be available on iOS. Hence, the future is not looking particularly bright for Epic Games.
Mobile gaming is picking up massive steam globally. Although Fortnite has a massive PC audience, Epic Games likely doesn't want it to be a late entry in another booming segment.
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