“Fortnite” is the biggest game in the world. But, yesterday, BOTH Apple and Google yanked the game from their app stores.
Here’s the deal: Epic Games, the maker of “Fortnite”, intentionally picked a fight with the companies in order to file a lawsuit, accusing both of being monopolies.
It all started when Epic offered users a DISCOUNT on in-game purchases if they made DIRECT payments to THEM, rather than going through the normal channels.
Apparently, that’s against the rules, because Apple and Google require payments to go through them so that they can take a 30% cut.
Epic knew that as soon as Apple and Google noticed, they’d nix “Fortnite” so they already had lawsuits prepared against both companies.
Not only that, but it’s obvious they’ve been preparing for this to happen for quite a while. Why? Because Epic had plenty of time to post a complete parody of that famous 1984 Apple commercial, where Apple positioned itself as an upstart versus the evil “Big Brother” IBM. You can watch it above.
In Epic’s parody, Apple has taken over the evil overlord role.
And, if you know anything about game development, you can’t put together a video sequence like that without A LOT of planning, plus hours & hours & hours of work.
At the end, it says, quote, “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking ‘Fortnite’ from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’ #FreeFortnite.”
This clash and the challenge to Apple’s app store rules was probably inevitable. Of course it also HAD to happen in the middle of 2020, when pretty much everything is terrible.
You can read more about this chaos, here and here.
(It’s worth noting that Epic’s case against Google isn’t quite as strong, because Google DOES allow apps to be “sideloaded” onto Android devices, without going through the Google Play Store.)
(Epic has claimed that Google puts third party, sideloaded apps at a disadvantage but technically, you don’t NEED Google. However, Apple will ONLY allow apps from their own iOS App Store on their devices.)