Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games are in the middle of a massive feud impacting the availability of one of the world's most-played video games on a billion phones worldwide. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store entirely, making it unavilable to download. Their reasoning is reportedly linked to a recent move by Epic Games allowing players to purchase V-bucks, Fortnite's in-game currency, through its own Epic Games Store instead of the usual method of routing the purchases through the App Store. Apple was rumored to be taking a 30% cut of any in-game currency transactions and that, according to Epic Games, was such an anti-consumer practice that they decided to sell the currency outside of the App Store to give players a better deal that also earned the game developer more money without having to give Apple any cut.
The decision by Apple to remove Fortnite from the App Store has enraged players all over the world, many of whom have already viewed an in-game video that was a direct shot at Apple's actions in the form of a parody of Apple's iconic 1984 tv ad, complete with the shadowy ruler being visualized as a talking apple and a Fortnite character running into the room to break the screen just like in the original ad.
Epic Games has filed paperwork to take legal action against Apple, which can be viewed in its entirety here. The legal document details Apple's iconic MacIntosh computer launch in 1984 with this legendary tv ad which cast Apple as a force for good that was trying to break up what they considered to be IBM's monopoly of the home computer market. The legal complaint then contrasts Apple's attempt to appear pro-consumer with the restrictions it places on the distribution of software on its devices including mandating ALL apps are made available through the App Store with a mandatory 30% cut taken out of every purchase and given to Apple. Epic Games considers Apple's actions as monopolizing both the disctribution of apps on iPhones and iPads and also the processing of payments for those apps and associated in-app purchases.
Interestingly, Epic Games' complaint also notes that purchasing software on a Mac computer (both Mac and MacBook) is remarkably easier as software on those platforms is available on more than just the App Store with multiple non-Apple payment processing options available along with a much smaller 3% fee on transactions.... 1/10th of the cut Apple takes from App Store purchases on iPhones or iPads. The gist of the argument is that since mobile devices have become such a major part of our everyday lives, Apple's restrictions are unreasonable and hurt consumers who may have to pay more per transaction as developers raise their prices to stay profitable while also giving Apple its cut.