Fortnite was removed from App Store and Google Play Store, after which Epic filed a lawsuit against the two giants.
Apple vs Fortnite: Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has stated in a Twitter post that tech giant Apple has threatened that the former would lose all access to the developer tools for iOS and Mac in response to Epic Games sneaking a new payment processing option into the game last week. This led to Apple banning the game app from its App Store, which snowballed into Epic Games filing an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant. Epic claimed that Apple was placing illegal restrictions on the distribution of the iOS apps.
Apple has threatened to terminate Epic’s developer account with Apple, without which the developer would neither be able to use Apple’s developer tools, nor be able to distribute their apps on iOS platforms. In order to escape this consequence, Apple has said that Epic would need to cure its breaches to the agreement within a time frame of two weeks. Epic also wouldn’t be able to notarise apps for Mac, which is a requirement for the apps to run on the latest MacOS versions, even if these apps are being distributed outside of the App Store. If Epic is not able to notarise its apps for Mac, it would either block or make it very difficult for Epic’s software to be installed on Mac.
Apple gave a statement saying that Epic would be able to retain its developer account and its apps on the App Store by simply submitting an updated version of Fortnite that restores its compliance with the guidelines that apply to all developers and had been agreed upon by Epic Games, adding that Apple would not be making any exception for the Fortnite developer.
Epic update of Fortnite was designed as a work around the app store guidelines that require developers to use the platform owners’ payment systems for in-app purchases of digital goods. This gives Apple and Google a cut of 30%. This rule, however, is only applicable to digital goods, which is why physical items bought from e-commerce websites like Amazon and say, UberEats apps, do not necessarily need to be paid for using Apple or Google’s payment systems.
For this very update, Fortnite was removed from App Store and Google Play Store, after which Epic filed a lawsuit against the two giants for anticompetitive practices.
Apart from this, following Apple’s threat to cut off Epic from its developer program, Epic has also filed a preliminary injunction which asks courts to stop Apple from going through with the threat. Apple has asked Epic to comply with its condition of reverting the rule-violating changes to Fortnite by August 28.