Epic calls the App Store anti-competitive and unlawful

Fortnite has been removed from both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, after Epic introduced its own direct payment system in the game.

Because of the game’s removal, Epic has filed for legal action against Apple and Google, with court documents for the Apple case released by Epic, with the BBC confirming they have seen the Google court documents. 

This has come about after Fortnite introduced the “Epic direct payment” option. On mobile, it offers players discounted prices on V-Bucks, in exchange for circumventing the service charge that the App Store and Google Play normally take on each in-app purchase. Apple confirmed that Fortnite’s removal was a direct result of the new payment option in a statement given to The Verge.

“Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”

Epic was clearly anticipating this kind of response from Apple, because it almost immediately shared legal papers alleging that Apple’s App Store terms are anti-competitive and unlawful on the official Fortnite account.

It looks like you’re still able to play Fortnite on iOS if you already have it installed, or download it from your purchase history if you’ve installed it in the past. That may also change if Epic and Apple can’t come to an agreement soon.

No matter what happens on mobile, Fortnite is dropping the prices on V-Bucks purchases across the board, including a new direct purchase option that could shake things up for mobile players.

Epic Games is calling it the “Fortnite Mega Drop”, and it means permanent price reductions of up to 20 percent for all V-Bucks purchases. For instance, picking up 1,000 V-Bucks will now cost $7.99 instead of $9.99 on PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.