Apple has just removed Fortnite from the App Store. The delisting comes just hours after Fortnite developer Epic Games started giving discounts on the game’s V-bucks currency and other cash purchases if players bypassed the App Store and Google Play. For a couple of hours that it was up online, the discount let players save up to 20% on their next Fortnite purchase.
Shortly after the removal, the company filed a lawsuit against Apple. Epic also said it would stream a new short called Ninetween Eighty-Fortnite. The title of the short is a reference to Apple’s iconic 1984 Macintosh ad. Epic also announced 1984 in their legal brief. While Epic still gave their players the option to go through the App store, few likely did after seeing that they could save money.
“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate state of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the Store,” said Apple. “Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.”
Both companies have been driving towards a confrontation for quite some time now. In a previous interview they had with CNBC in July, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney criticized the company for the 30% revenue cut it receives from developers. “They [Apple] are preventing an entire category of businesses and applications from being engulfed in their ecosystem by virtue of excluding competitors from each aspect of their business that they’re protecting,” she said.
Well, this isn’t the first time Sweeney and Epic have picked a fight with a tech giant. Back in 2016, the executive wrote a scathing op-ed against Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Sweeney said the initiative was the first step toward Microsoft locking down a monopoly on app distribution in Windows 10. In a way, Sweeney and company won, it has in the years since significantly scaled back the project.