In case you've missed out on the hottest drama of the week, Fortnite has been kicked off both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Here's how it happened.
Challenging the Apple monopoly
Yesterday, Epic Games annnounced the 'Fortnite Mega Drop', a permanent discount on V-bucks and other in-app purchases of up to 20%. How Epic Games was able to pull this off was by introducing a new direct payment option via credit card or PayPal, which bypasses Apple's own iOS in-app payment method.
By doing so, Epic is able to save money by denying Apple their cut on Fortnite's in-app purchases, and pass those savings on to the consumer.
According to a statement made to the The Verge, Epic claims that "there are no savings if players use Apple and Google payment options, where Apple and Google collect an exorbitant 30 percent fee on all payments.”
In Apple's case, the iOS app market is monopolised by the company - developers do not have a choice where they get to publish and distribute their games to iOS users. This means app and game developers will be at the mercy of Apple's stringent terms and tariffs.
After Epic Games threw down their bold challenge to these policies, Apple responded by unceremoniously kicking Fortnite off the Apple App Store - which played right into Epic Games' image of the underdog rallying consumers against Apple's unfairly monopolistic practices.
Epic Games retaliates
Epic Games was clearly prepared for this response, and proceeded to sue Apple in return. The full lawsuit can be viewed here. Along with serving up some papers, Epic Games released the following video, which is a parody of Apple's iconic '1984' commercial.
In the cheeky recreation, Apple has been painted as the dictatorial villain, while the televised propaganda was instead interrupted by a well-aimed pickaxe flung by a Fortnite character decked out in a Rainbow Brite outfit. For comparison purposes, you can view Apple original ad here.
Google joins the boycott
After Apple's move to kick Fortnite off the App Store due to Epic Games audacious move, Google has followed suit by removing Fortnite from the Play Store today.
While players will still be able to download Fortnite on Android devices through other means, this will inevitably create more fragmentation in the market by encouraging players to not depend solely on the Google Play Store.
For what it's worth, although the Google Play Store does encompass a huge part of the market, they are technically not a monopoly. Android users do have other options in terms of app marketplaces, such as the HUAWEI AppGallery and Samsung Gallery.
Either way, with Epic Games' epic lawsuit and video response to their predictable exile from the Apple App Store, we're expecting them to have a similar response to Google.
Obviously, we'll covering that news once it explodes, so stay tuned!