Well, this certainly is both surprising and not surprising, as both Apple and Google have removed Fortnite from their own app stores because Epic Games violated store guidelines by offering a way to get cheaper V-Bucks by paying Epic directly and circumventing any revenue towards Apple or Google.
It’s a very awkward situation, as you can argue very well for both sides: Apple’s app store guidelines clearly have rules that should be followed in order to keep an app on there, which Epic Games directly violated. Then again, Epic are accusing Apple and Google for some outrageous monopolistic behaviour with a 30% fee on all in-game microtransactions.
Understandably, due to Epic’s decision to make the update to payment methods without telling Apple, the popular Battle Royale has now been removed from both app stores. You’d think the story ends there for now, with Apple and Google without one of the most popular games in the world on their marketplace, and Epic without some of the most popular mobile platforms out there. So you’d think they would come to some sort of agreement already…
Of course that’s not what happened though, as Epic have now filed lawsuits against both Apple for “anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices” in regards to payments on Apple devices, and Google for their “anti-competitive conduct on the Android ecosystem.”
And in typical Epic Games style, right after the announcement was made by Apple that Fortnite was removed from the app store, Epic Games released a video parodying the infamous “1984” advertisement directed by Ridley Scott:
This was seemingly done to comment on the fact that Apple has supposedly U-turned on their own beliefs, as the original 1984 ad “cast Apple as a beneficial, revolutionary force breaking IBM’s monopoly over the computing technology market,” as the Apple lawsuit states. But now “Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation.”
Of course, Epic isn’t doing this for the money at all, instead they want to make it better for developers and customers: “But Epic is not interested in any side deals that might benefit Epic alone while leaving Google's anti-competitive restraints intact,” the lawsuit says. “Instead, Epic is focused on opening up the Android ecosystem for the benefit of all developers and consumers.”
“Accordingly, Epic seeks injunctive relief in court. Google’s conduct has caused and continues to cause Epic financial harm, but Epic is not bringing this case to recover these damages; Epic is not seeking any monetary relief, but rather only an order enjoining Google from continuing to impose its anti-competitive conduct on the Android ecosystem.”
Regardless of how you feel about Apple or Google’s decision, the fact that Apple has also banned Microsoft’s cloud gaming service Project xCloud on iOS devices sure puts Apple in a bad light at the moment for stifling video game development on their own devices.
What do you think? Who is right in this situation? What do you think will happen? And how will this affect the mobile gaming market in the future? Let us know!