In what could possibly be one of the most interesting lawsuits in modern gaming, Epic Games is taking Apple to court over Fortnite. Variety is reporting that the makers of the popular battle royale title made a move this morning to offer a 20% discount on their in-game currency directly from them but not through Apple or Google, in an effort to get around Apple's 30% cut they take from all transactions made in-game while using the app on their devices. That prompted Apple to take action by removing the app entirely from iTunes and the Apple Store. Which was quickly followed by Epic filing a lawsuit against Apple, as if they were expecting the removal to happen. Here are a couple of snippets from the article quoting both parties on the decisions.
"Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing Fortnite from sale on the App Store, which means that new users cannot download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store cannot update it to the latest version," Epic said in the lawsuit. […]
In Apple's statement about removing "Fortnite" after the developer introduced the direct-payment option, Apple claimed that its App Store guidelines "are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users."
If you look at the situation evenly, on the one hand, you can't really blame Epic Games from not wanting a 30% chunk of their profits taken away every time someone makes a purchase. On the other hand, that system is what's keeping Apple's iTunes/Storefront in business as every transaction is paying the cost to keep it running. You can read the lawsuit here, which was filed in California so it will be a long time before it reaches a judge with the current backlog. We'll keep you updated as things progress.
UPDATE: Around 4pm PDT, Google has now removed Fortnite from Google Play. We'll be on the lookout for a second lawsuit.