Epic Games drag Apple and Google to court over Fortnite ban from app stores
Epic Games most popular game Fortnite has been removed from Apple app store and Google play store. The game has been removed because it has violated the app store rules by bypassing the payment systems of app stores.
Both Google and Apple take 30% cut from any apps which are available on their app stores and by bypassing the payment systems, companies won’t receive their shares.
Though Fornite has been removed from Google Play Store, there are other app stores from where it is possible to download the game on any Android smartphone. But, iPhone and iPad users are not so lucky since, there aren’t any alternatives to Apple App Store.
How did Epic Games violate the rules?
With Epic Games latest update to Fortnite, it offered its users 20% discount on the currency used inside the game known as V-bucks. But, to avail the offer users had to pay directly to Epic Games rather than using payment systems provided by Apple or Google.
By rules, games which are made available via Apple App Store or Google Play Store have to use their payment systems and thus, by asking users to pay directly Epic Games violated the rules.
Epic Games had anticipated that their game would be taken off by Apple and Google, and on Thursday, Apple took down the game from its app store and soon after it Google did the same.
Immediately after the game was down, the game company released a video with hashtag #FreeFortnite. It was also quick at filing suit against Google and Apple.
What is the suit about?
From the documents available at US court record system, it has come to known that Epic games has filed the suit at California court against both Apple and Google.
The suit is about mandatory cut of 30% which both Google and Apple take for each and every sale from their application stores. The suit also raises issues about how Apple and Google are taking advantage of their power and monopoly.
In past Google did not allow LG to put Epic Games software on its devices by binding LG in a contract. Even One Plus had to go through similar situation and was not allowed to indulge with the game company.
What are the demands of Epic?
Epic has stated that it does not seek any monetary compensation from the tech giants nor it is trying for a favorable deal for itself.
The company has said that it wants to make mobile app stores to be fairer for all developers. It also expects from Google and Apple to reduce its commission from 30%.
In past many developers have complained about the commissions taken by the app stores is too high leaving pennies to the developers. If Apple and Google reduce their commission then it will be relief for app developers and more importantly to Epic.
The game company is directly processed transactions over $1.6 billion which does not include payments via App store and Play store.
Statements from Google and Apple
Google stated that users have alternative to download and install apps from other sources and as per the company Play Store is one such source.
It also stated that the developers working on Android ecosystem can distribute their applications via multiple platforms and stores. But, for using Play Store to provide applications, it has policies which are necessary to keep the store safe for users and it also says that their policies are fair.
Apple also released a statement: “Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers.” said Apple.
Apple added that Epic agreed to terms and conditions of their app store under no pressure and they were pleased to see Epic’s business grow on their store. It accused Epic of special arrangements which Apple would not provide under fair play and chance for all developers on App Store.
Even Apple said that their guidelines are created in a way that will safe guard users.
Both Apple and Google are working out with Epic to resolve the violation and get Fortnite back on their stores.
Apple and Google have already been questioned and are under review because of their practices relating to fair competition where they were accused of using their power.
What do you think about the suit and what do you think will be the outcome? Do share your views in comments below.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on more helpful hints. Clarice Frank Lauter