It seemed quite harmless and user-centric, as everything Fornite does. Still, a series of Epic Games decisions took its jewel game out of both the iOS store and the Play Store.
The company’s last move against the American tech company was a simple short film. “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” is a one-minute long ad that “defies the App Store monopoly.”
Epic Games showcased the video on Fortnite’s Party Royale mode. A few moments later, Apple and Google removed the game from its App Store. Then, Epic Games sued both Apple and Google.
At least they remain true to their words. They are waging war against dishonest practices stores and publishers take against video-game developers.
Fortnite’s new payment method
Epic Games introduced a platform-wide discount on its V-Bucks with a new purchase mode. Players can now buy the Battle Royale’s new in-game currency for less with price cuts up to 20%.
By choosing “Epic Direct Payment,” you can bypass Google and Apple’s stores. As a result, users get cheaper items.
Cheeky move. No other game has done this before. Yes, users are the ultimate winners, but there’s a contract between Epic Games and the store.
If you’re playing Fortnite on Xbox One, PS4, PC, or Nintendo Switch, you don’t have to do anything extra. The new prices reflect any payment method you choose.
Fortnite’s new payment method is a permanent measure.
Epic Games vs. Apple
“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.” (Gamespot’s interview)
The new direct payment method is for Fortnite’s mobile version. It cuts the third party, so users would no longer need the App Store or the Play Store for in-game purchases.
Fortnite’s new in-game purchase system circumvents the tech giants. That means neither the iOS App Store nor Google Play would get their 30% slice for V-Buck purchases.
Apple says they kicked out the game because they could not approve the purchase feature. As per Apple’s words, Epic Games is trying to bypass the App Store’s regulations.
What Fortnite did wrong according to Apple
Apple reminds Epic Games they agreed to their guidelines “freely.” They point out Epic Games did business on the iOS marketplace. Still, they introduced an in-game payment feature Apple did not approve or purchase.
Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming “1984”
Here’s Epic Game’s answer to Apple, Part I.
Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite is not your typical ad; it’s an ironic statement. With a short video, Epic Games showed Apple as an all-powerful money-seeking overlord. And with their ever-reaching dollar-made tentacles, they are taking everything for their own.
According to the game developer, Apple’s monopoly is scary. They are comparing its threat to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
In fact, the ad mimic’s an original Apple Machintosh ad from January 1984. Even the closing text roll takes a cue from Apple’s old marketing campaign. Macintosh’s advertising spot introduced the first personal computer to the world.
Its megalomaniac ad wasn’t received well, though. George Orwell considered it as flagrant copyright to the novel he published in 1947. He sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple, and they complied. In April 1984, they took the commercial.
Epic Games also launched its #FreeFortnite campaign. It’s a social media hashtag to encourage Apple (and now Google) to change its policies.
Epic Games pushes back with a lawsuit against Apple
We reached Epic Game’s answer to Apple, Part II.
Before the day ended, Epic Games sued Apple for its monopolistic practices. They are asking Apple to break the monopoly on iOS payment features. That would be beneficial for all users and all developers.
Just minutes after Epic released the video, they filed the legal action. It seems like they had it all prepared beforehand.
Fortnite developers points Apple became what they originally criticize. When the company entered the market, they presented themselves as an alternative from IBM’s monopoly on computing technology.
Now, though, “(Apple) is a behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation.”
The legal action accuses Apple of employing anti-competitive measures. Epic Games says their rivaling company uses monopolistic practices in both software distribution and payment on iOS devices.
They also note other Apple Hardware (like Macs and MacBooks) are more competitive. You can buy or download Mac hardware and software from many pages and pay with various methods.
This lawsuit accounts then separate allegations of monopoly practices. Most notably, it specifies Epic is not looking for money. Their goal is to break Apple’s grip on the iOS app ecosystem.
Epic Games vs. Google
Play Store’s rules are more open than Apple’s choices. When it comes to games, though, Google is obvious:
“Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Pay In-App Billing as the method of payment.”
Google takes its 30% fee as well. Yet, Google does allow third-party app downloads.
That said, it didn’t take long until Google took it out of its online app marketplace altogether.
Fortnite remains available on Android, but you won’t be able o download it from the Play Store. Moreover, Google is open to discuss the matter with Epic Games and bring the game back to its store.
You can install Fortnite on Android via the Epic Games Store website or the Samsung Galaxy store for Samsung devices. Interestingly, Google has no problems with this.
That’s the thing with Google. Its Play Store is the central hub of Android apps, but there’re many other stores you can access legally. On iPad or iPhone, though, there’s no other way to install the game.
Epic had already pulled their Battle Royale out of the Play Store in 2018 to distribute it directly. However, they took it back into the app marketplace in April 2020.
They had angry rhetoric, though. Epic Games said Google puts third-party apps at a disadvantage compared to Google Play offerings. That’s because Android characterizes third-party apps as “malware.”
Now, given how tasty Epic Games’ answer was to Apple, we expect they’re preparing something similar against Google.
So, in short, here’s what you see when you try to look for Fortnite on Google Play.
Epic Games is encouraging users to download mobile Fornite from the Samsung Store. If they can push users to use another Android app, there could be a real app store competition on Android.
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Lawsuit against Google
The day ended with Epic Games suing Google with a 63-page document. The legal action starts with Google’s 1998 legal motto, “Don’t Be Evil.” Epic Games alleges the company is using its massive size to “do evil upon competitors, innovators, users, and customers.
In particular, Epic states Google has caused financial harm to the company with anti-competitive behaviors.
Apple’s closed gaming loop
At the same time, we learned that Microsoft’s game streaming service wouldn’t be available on iOS devices. xCloud’s omission prompted a hefty answer from Epic Game’s founder Tim Sweany.
The game producer says Apple’s exclusivity rules-out all cross-platform projects. Games on the iOS store so far only allow multiplayer with other iOS users.
On Android, there’s a couple of obstacles as well. Users won’t be able to make in-game purchases like DLCs because of that 30% cut. Even so, xCloud will be available via the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Apple has outlawed the metaverse.
The principle they state, taken literally, would rule out all cross-platform ecosystems and games with user created modes: not just XCloud, Stadia, and GeForce NOW, but also Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox. https://t.co/OAGC7cXfSl
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2020
Epic Games against everyone
Epic Game’s new shift to escape royalty charges is something the company has been commanding for years. The company has never liked third-parties. They are not fond of other companies taking a piece of the pie.
A couple of years ago, Steam was taking a sizable cut on the game’s sales. Epic Games has always spoken against these industry standards.
Hence, they launch the friendlier Epic Games Store. It packs a constant stream of free games plus juicy deals for game developers. Every month, they offer a free game. GTA V / GTA Online is part of their list of freebies.
No surprise here, but Fortnite is the most popular game on their store.
Available at: Steam/ PS4
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