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Apple removes Fortnite from app store after Epic launches new payment system (Update: removed from Google Play store too)

Grinchy

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I'm not sure if I agree that the 30% cut is "too much." Having a storefront that brings in a ton of eyeballs that is completely maintained by a company is arguably worthy of that 30% cut.

I think the problem comes more from the fact that there's no possibility of competition from other storefronts on Apple devices. There's one store and you're not allowed to open your own.

We've seen EA try (and fail) to get away from Steam because they didn't like the 30% cut. Then they realize their sales went down when they opened their own store (Origin), so the 30% cut was actually worth it and they're coming back to Steam.

That's natural competition that doesn't exist with Apple and they don't want it to. If Epic could launch their own mobile storefront the same way they did with their PC gaming, and only charged 12% like they do there, suddenly Apple is competing. And why compete when you can run a monopoly?
 
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supernova8

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I'm not sure if I agree that the 30% cut is "too much." Having a storefront that brings in a ton of eyeballs that is completely maintained by a company is arguably worthy of that 30% cut.

I think the problem comes more from the fact that there's no possibility of competition from other storefronts on Apple devices. There's one store and you're not allowed to open your own.

We've seen EA try (and fail) to get away from Steam because they didn't like the 30% cut. Then they realize their sales went down when they opened their own store (Origin), so the 30% cut was actually worth it and they're coming back to Steam.

That's natural competition that doesn't exist with Apple and they don't want it to. If Epic could launch their own mobile storefront the same way they did with their PC gaming, and only charged 12% like they do there, suddenly Apple is competing. And why compete when you can run a monopoly?

Well they still haven't brought an Epic Games Store to Android (to circumvent Google's cut) so why would they believe Apple would be any more lenient. The combined might of Apple and Google is far larger than Epic and Spotify. Epic is going to lose. Let's wait and see. I genuinely expect Apple and Google to actually work together to protect their respective 30% cuts.
 
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Hari Seldon

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Let’s be real here. The iOS store is filled with such complete garbage that I haven’t bothered booting it up to browse in YEARS. The only way I would play a mobile game is extreme word of mouth, or a big game company that I already liked put a game out on it that I was interested in. As much as I hate epic they are in the right. The iOS store adds fucking nothing and is no way worth 30%. Apple should be paying Epic, not the other way around.
 

Sakura

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I'm not sure if I agree that the 30% cut is "too much." Having a storefront that brings in a ton of eyeballs that is completely maintained by a company is arguably worthy of that 30% cut.

I think the problem comes more from the fact that there's no possibility of competition from other storefronts on Apple devices. There's one store and you're not allowed to open your own.

We've seen EA try (and fail) to get away from Steam because they didn't like the 30% cut. Then they realize their sales went down when they opened their own store (Origin), so the 30% cut was actually worth it and they're coming back to Steam.

That's natural competition that doesn't exist with Apple and they don't want it to. If Epic could launch their own mobile storefront the same way they did with their PC gaming, and only charged 12% like they do there, suddenly Apple is competing. And why compete when you can run a monopoly?
I don't really agree with that though. Should multiple storefronts be allowed on Xbox and Playstation, otherwise it isn't fair because there is no competition?
The competition is the smartphone market, not within Apple's device itself.
 

supernova8

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Let’s be real here. The iOS store is filled with such complete garbage that I haven’t bothered booting it up to browse in YEARS. The only way I would play a mobile game is extreme word of mouth, or a big game company that I already liked put a game out on it that I was interested in. As much as I hate epic they are in the right. The iOS store adds fucking nothing and is no way worth 30%. Apple should be paying Epic, not the other way around.


Report itself is behind a paywall so I guess have to take this site's word, but apparently:

- iOS users spend 2.5x more than Android users.
- 71% of iOS users make at least one purchase every month, only 4.6% on Android
- 92% of iPhone users plan to upgrade to another iPhone rather than anything else

iOS is simply more lucrative than Android. Epic could have shit loads more users on Android and be making zero money from them. They need iOS and the App Store, not the other way around.
 

EDarkness

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I don't really agree with that though. Should multiple storefronts be allowed on Xbox and Playstation, otherwise it isn't fair because there is no competition?
The competition is the smartphone market, not within Apple's device itself.

This my thought at well. If you're looking to buy a smartphone, then you have lots of options. You don't have to buy a Apple phone (and a whole lot of people don't). You can buy the many Android phones from many companies.

If a dev wants to make a game, they can choose where they want to make their game. There are so many options for game development these days compared to the old days. You can make games on iOS. You can make games on the Playstation. Android. Xbox. And the list goes on. Why does there need to be competition on a single platform when there are so many out there to choose from? All of them charge 30%. Most of them are closed. You can't just decide to make PS4/PS5 games without getting approval from Sony. I don't get how Apple has a monopoly when there are so many choices out there.
 

RoboFu

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Ehh the work around that people should be pursuing “ that Apple sort of blocked recently though “was just using new web browser technologies and say “f$&@ you” to native apps.
apps are way too limited and cumbersome to keep updated
 
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diffusionx

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I think that Epic could probably win the case if they fight this, as there is a lot of momentum for breaking this sort of app store control system that these phone/OS makers have. However, it could be a pyrrhic victory. How long will it take to play out? Can Epic get back on the store in the meantime? I feel like zoomers will just find a new game in a day or two and Epic will have killed their golden goose.

Fortnite is free to download, right? and so the only revenue Apple can make from allowing Fortnite on the store is those in-app purchases of V-bucks. The terms as they apply to everyone else are that you have to pay Apple a cut of that revenue, because you're making money by way of tapping into Apple's massive userbase.

If you are going to circumvent Apple's systems outright and pay them zero dollars then...

What is the incentive for Apple not to ban Fortnite?

- Do they need Fortnite to drive sales of iOS devices? NOPE.
- Other than in-app purchases, can they make money from Fortnite? NOPE.
- Is a statistically significant proportion of users going to stop using their iOS/sell their iOS because of this? NOPE.

Apple is doing this because allowing such a move would open up the floodgates for other developers to do the same.

Not saying I agree with Apple, it's just an obvious move to protect a significant portion of their business.

Get the feeling Epic is biting off more than it can chew here.
Apple has mammoth cash reserves and an extremely loyal fanbase that will buy their stuff regardless of whether Fortnite is or isn't on their device.

Exactly. The fact is that Epic needs Apple more than the reverse. Apple can fight this for years and only change their policy when they are forced to, but Epic has a game to sell.
 
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Rikoi

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Unless they are idiots, I think they know they have chance to lose, and they totally saw this ban coming. They must have a plan B if things go bad, which would be interesting to know.

I am not sure what their final goal is, but I'm fairly sure the mobile version wasn't bringing them much money so they are trying this card.
The video is probably taking advantage of the younger playerbase to push a narrative of Apple being bad, they might think that this move will bring them more money, in one way or another.
Anyway it will be interesting to know how this turns out.
 

laser_printer

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Well they still haven't brought an Epic Games Store to Android (to circumvent Google's cut) so why would they believe Apple would be any more lenient. The combined might of Apple and Google is far larger than Epic and Spotify. Epic is going to lose. Let's wait and see. I genuinely expect Apple and Google to actually work together to protect their respective 30% cuts.

There's a game store, I have it on my phone you can still sideload and play





RIP Epic.

No chance against Apple and Google.

You can't stop sideloading, which is very possible from the official website which is how you get the Android version of fortnight anyway.
 
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supernova8

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There's a game store, I have it on my phone you can still sideload and play







You can't stop sideloading, which is very possible from the official website which is how you get the Android version of fortnight anyway.

Interesting the article I read must have been out of date. I have no interest in Fortnite whatsoever so... yeah didn't do my research heh.
 

supernova8

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I think that Epic could probably win the case if they fight this, as there is a lot of momentum for breaking this sort of app store control system that these phone/OS makers have. However, it could be a pyrrhic victory. How long will it take to play out? Can Epic get back on the store in the meantime? I feel like zoomers will just find a new game in a day or two and Epic will have killed their golden goose.

Exactly. The fact is that Epic needs Apple more than the reverse. Apple can fight this for years and only change their policy when they are forced to, but Epic has a game to sell.

Yeah the app store was around long before Epic came to town and it will be around long after Epic leaves town (not that I think they'll leave town of course). I also don't understand why they are suing Apple. Their lawsuit just reads like a tantrum by a 15 year old kid more than anything else.

Apple can charge 30% because it chooses to. Epic is not trying to get Apple to lower its cut, Epic was trying to cut Apple out of the equation altogether. It's not happening.
 
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ReBurn

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Apple will lose Customers by not allowing Fortnite and Xcloud on their store.
I'd be willing to bet that the people who play Fortnite and Xcloud are not Apple's primary customer base. This doesn't impact people's ability to take duck face selfies and share pictures of their lunch. But it will be interesting to see if mommy or daddy buys a new phone so their kid can play Fortnite in the back seat on the way to school. My guess is the kids will just have to play something else.
 

MayauMiao

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The fight between pot and kettle is very funny.

Both of them are greedy and both want the cut of the profit. I can't side between the two evils, but I will say that Apple has every right to do this since its their platform and their rules.
 

Paracelsus

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In this thread: people who hate both Apple and Epic doing mental gymnastics trying to figure out who they should be angry at.

 

Sejan

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I don't really agree with that though. Should multiple storefronts be allowed on Xbox and Playstation, otherwise it isn't fair because there is no competition?
The competition is the smartphone market, not within Apple's device itself.
I don’t have a problem with a closed walled garden system having a monopolized storefront, but I believe that such a scenario should require the owner of that system to build it in favor of both the customer and the one selling through that store.
 
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Well they still haven't brought an Epic Games Store to Android (to circumvent Google's cut) so why would they believe Apple would be any more lenient. The combined might of Apple and Google is far larger than Epic and Spotify. Epic is going to lose. Let's wait and see. I genuinely expect Apple and Google to actually work together to protect their respective 30% cuts.
I'm actually impressed that Google stood with Apple on this and kicked Fortnite off Google Play Store. Apple and Google aren't the best of friends (insofar as corporations can be "friends" or "enemies") but in the end you have to protect your 30% and sometimes it means standing with the company that introduced their own Maps app and spent many billions on it just to prevent you from having your Maps app on their device.

Legally, Epic has no case. This is very much a "statement" lawsuit which is meant to either force Apple/Google to settle or draw the interest of the antitrust regulators. The problem is Epic hasn't even bothered to define how they were harmed or what the damages are. This is a pure greed play from Tim Sweeney and Epic, they just don't want to pay the 30%.

Quietly in the background, Tencent and China are using Tim's greed as a longshot play to possibly goad America's own regulators to break up two of America's most important tech companies. This will weaken and destabilize America and increase China's power, or so Xi Jinping apparently believes.
 
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TimFL

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There are plenty of big apps using their own payments. Ever buy something in the Amazon app? No Apple cut there. There are absolutely special deals for certain developers, which was basically revealed at the hearings. Epic knew they would get banned for this, and that's probably their goal. To raise the alarms that these systems are completely closed and basically antithetical to a lot of basic ideals software engineers believe in (myself included). The very least of which is we should be able to install software from any source we desire. Apple can have their store. Just allow us to use the devices as the computers they are.
This. Apple keeps touting their „all digital goods consumed in-app have to be bought with out in-app payment processing if you offer them for sale in our app“ and „every developer has to abide by these rules“ bulletpoints yet they let Amazon bypass the rule in the Prime Video app (and 2 other apps I forgot the name of).

That‘s the issue at hand. It‘s not directly about the 30% cut, it‘s about the fact that Apple imposes rules they then bend or create loopholes to play favorites.
There are literally a gazillion of these special treatment cases on the App Store, someone should list them all to expose how hyperbolic Apples practices really are.

If you want rules and devs to use your tools, don‘t cut special behind closed door deals that completely shit on your whole developer agreement & give devs fuel to light a fire under your ass. I saw this coming the second they allowed amazon to use their own payment processing in April.
 

MastaKiiLA

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RIP Epic.

No chance against Apple and Google.
I wouldn't be so sure. There's precedent here with the antitrust wins against MS with Windows. iOS and Android are very much the same as Windows. Locking others out of the marketplace by forcing everyone to conform to your one storefront is anti-competitive. Seems like MS might want to join that fight, as they have all the legal arguments saved so they can just parrot them back against Apple. Or maybe Apple will want to cut a deal with MS to avoid opening pandora's box here.

I'm far from a legal expert, though, so I'm probably talking out of my ass. I just know that there are solid parallels between what happened with Windows and the web browser antitrust claims, and these mobile OSes.
 

DiscoJer

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Bear in mind, the only reason Microsoft even exists is that IBM was afraid of anti-trust/monopoly actions from the government if they had control over both the hardware and OS of the PC.

Apple basically is that, for iDevices, plus they completely control what can be sold on their devices. They should have been sued by the government ages ago.
 

Nicktendo_

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If you don’t like Apple’s store rules, walled garden or payment system, buy an Android device and sideload whatever shit you want.

This really isn’t hard.

China is going to lose this one.
 
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Sakura

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I don’t have a problem with a closed walled garden system having a monopolized storefront, but I believe that such a scenario should require the owner of that system to build it in favor of both the customer and the one selling through that store.
What does it mean to build it in favour though? Apple isn't running a non-profit smartphone business, they are in it to make money. And it's not like Epic or consumers are hurt by the 30% cut. Epic makes billions off of Fortnite. They just don't like that Apple and Google and whatever other storefront they are on, takes a cut. The 30% cut certainly isn't big enough to deter developers from putting their products on the storefront.
Epic is trying to paint this as though the consumer is having to pay the Apple tax, but in reality the prices are set as they are because that is what consumers are willing to pay. Epic could sell 1000 V-Bucks for 5 dollars, still pay Apple's cut, and they'd still make a ton of money. If all the storefronts only took a 10% cut, then V-Bucks would still cost the same as they do now, because it is what people are willing to pay. They are only lowering the price if you buy it directly to try to get consumers on their side, and make Apple look greedy, not because they actually care.
 
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If someone has a monopoly how do you think rules are changed? Somebody has to fight the establishment same as protests and the like. If you just bend over and keep accepting unjust policies nothing will change.

It’s not politics, though. It’s a corporation with a store for apps running on its platform. It’s no different than paying seller fees on other platforms. If Epic wants to avoid that, they are welcome to create their own platform, store and device.
 

Denton

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Not really as steam is a storefront within windows owned by somebody else where this is google and apples own store front. Dont forget steam takes a chunk of cash to
Apple does not allow storefronts by anyone else.

So yeah, the analogy stands, except it would be "imagine if Windows Store was the only option where to buy software on Windows and MS got 30% of every purchase". The fear that MS would try to copy Apple and do this with Windows 8 was why SteamOS came into existance and Valve started working on linux.

Apple can go fuck itself. I dislike Epic for their exclusivity BS, but eventhough I do not think they have a chance in hell to win the lawsuit, I sure do wish they would.
 

Denton

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Buy an Android phone if you don't like this, that's how you tell Apple to "go fuck itself".

Why don't people understand this?

I have an android phone actually. I understand your point, but in my view Apple (or MS, or any company) using their dominant market position in this way - to make everyone pay such high percentage for every single purchase in perpetuity - isn't good for anyone except that single company. It is a "bigger evil" kinda thing. Yes, ideally it would be prevented by people growing brains and stopping using Apple (or MS, if they behaved like Apple) products and services. Unfortunately that ain't gonna happen.

I am just glad MS didn't go that route too. Less walled gardens in the world, the better for everyone. Except the gardener...but the gardener in this case has what, 2 trillion dollar value? They can take the hit.
 

eot

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Don't understand their play here. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on the phone market, so they're allowed to have their closed garden, and while this lawsuit is going on Epic are pissing away money. Though I guess everyone who already installed the app has it?
 

llien

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I mean, I get that what Apple is doing is greedy. But if you are going to use its platform, no matter if you are Epic, Microsoft or whatever, you should play with their rules.
Or not, and do a lawsuit.
But this was clearly planned from the beginning. They did it on purpose, kind of a gaf suicidal account strategy to fire the lawsuit right next to that.

You miss the point of "you are going to use its platform" being weak sauce.
There were no rules against The Standard Oil company back then.
You were also having choice of not buying from them, the way you do with "not having your app on their platform", but people realized something is VERY wrong despite it being legal back then.

Apple should not be entitled to a huge cut of the revenue, just because they are dominant in some other area, ultimately: because it's not in customer's interests.
 

llien

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Having a storefront that brings in a ton of eyeballs that is completely maintained by a company is arguably worthy of that 30% cut.
Good lord, I'd be so happy to smack you with an iPad (I was told they are made of metal), for posting this nonsense.
 

phil_t98

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Apple does not allow storefronts by anyone else.

So yeah, the analogy stands, except it would be "imagine if Windows Store was the only option where to buy software on Windows and MS got 30% of every purchase". The fear that MS would try to copy Apple and do this with Windows 8 was why SteamOS came into existance and Valve started working on linux.

Apple can go fuck itself. I dislike Epic for their exclusivity BS, but eventhough I do not think they have a chance in hell to win the lawsuit, I sure do wish they would.

It’s apples choice to not allow store fronts and again Epic knew what they were getting into when they signed up, you do know that google also takes a 30% cut but your focused on apple alone?
 

eot

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Apple should not be entitled to a huge cut of the revenue, just because they are dominant in some other area, ultimately: because it's not in customer's interests.
Generally I don't like closed platforms, however in the case of iOS I appreciate how serious Apple are about data privacy. It's fucking hard to extract data from a stolen/retrieved iPhone, it's very hard to get malware/spyware on them etc. That's a direct consequence of the restrictions they put on developers.
 
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llien

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I appreciate how serious Apple are about data privacy.
I appreciate the successfull PR campaign around that crap.
From the fact that Apple was caught collecting user movement data even when on internet connection is available (and dialing back home), to popular Dolphin Browser doing the same on both iOS and Android, but only Android making it into the news.

it's very hard to get malware/spyware on them etc.
It's so hard, that just visiting a page is enough to get infected.
China used it against Ughurs, now you see why Apple got mad at google for exposing this fact, as it goes against the myth of "secure apple".

Most of the data restrictions are made around forcing you to buy another phone, instead of a larger SD card, when you run out of space, or to buy stuff only via apple (say, music). Security is just a lame excuse.

Oh boy I sure hope my favorite corporation wins this.
Lets pretend we have someone remotely as bad as that Cupertino thing in this story, shall we.
 
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acm2000

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i thought internal app updates were not allowed on play store since it doesnt go through whatever testing/scanning google does? if so google can just use that from the TOS as the reason for delisting
 

Gorki247

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I'm a bit confused what Epic is trying to achieve. If they have an issue with the 30% cut, why are they not calling out other platforms (PS, Xbox, Switch)? Or have they update the game there as well?
On the other hand, if it is about fighting for an open platform, then why did they do the same to the Android version of the game?
 

Denton

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It’s apples choice to not allow store fronts and again Epic knew what they were getting into when they signed up, you do know that google also takes a 30% cut but your focused on apple alone?

Android allows competing storefronts and and side loading, and in my view Epic should not have sued Google because of that. It actually harms their argument.
 
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Grinchy

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I don't really agree with that though. Should multiple storefronts be allowed on Xbox and Playstation, otherwise it isn't fair because there is no competition?
The competition is the smartphone market, not within Apple's device itself.
I guess for me the difference is in the numbers. These consoles are niche devices compared to the smartphone market. There are supposedly 1.4B active iphones. So for ~18% of the entire population of the Earth, you are not allowed to compete with the one store that services them all.
 

phil_t98

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Android allows competing storefronts and and side loading, and in my view Epic should not have sued Google because of that. It actually harms their argument.
Yeah but that’s google rules and they have taken Fortnite down to so they just as bad? Apple does what apple does and if you want to be on there you have to abide by there rules. Same as the PlayStation store and xbox store and apparently they take 30% cut to if you read this thread
 

Nicktendo_

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You are not allowed to compete with the one store that services them all.

So instead of complaining, maybe companies should boycott the app store and invest in an open mobile OS?
Or does no one really want to do that because they can still make heaps of cash on iOS?
How many of those 1.4 billion people are likely to be pulled away from Apple?
 

Grinchy

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So instead of complaining, maybe companies should boycott the app store and invest in an open mobile OS?
Or does no one really want to do that because they can still make heaps of cash on iOS?
How many of those 1.4 billion people are likely to be pulled away from Apple?
Isn't complaining about it and boycotting it exactly what Epic is doing right now?
 
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Denton

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Yeah but that’s google rules and they have taken Fortnite down to so they just as bad? Apple does what apple does and if you want to be on there you have to abide by there rules. Same as the PlayStation store and xbox store and apparently they take 30% cut to if you read this thread
Actually having read the lawsuit filing, Google engages in a litany of shitty unjustifiable behavior too, so I hope they get slapped just as hard if not harder than Apple.

(not that I expect it to happen)