The situation started earlier today with Epic Games pushing a server side updated for Fortnite that enabled users to bypass Apple's and Google's payment system on iOS and Android, respectively, and instead choose to use Epic's payment system for all in-app purchases.
The company announced Thursday that players will get a permanent 20% discount on V-Bucks, the in-game currency in "Fortnite", if they pay directly through Epic.
As of today, everyone can save up to 20% when purchasing V-Bucks or digital items through Epic's new payment portal.
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Epic has become one of the most important game developers in the world on the success of Fortnite, which is available on PC, consoles, and mobile.
"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 can not download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store can not update it to the latest version", Epic said in the lawsuit. The latest version of Fortnite on Android and iOS intentionally violates both company's payment policies.
"Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers", it said. But Epic ensured that players would get a better deal if they bought the currency directly rather than using the App Store. While I'm personally sick of covering this idiocy, there's assuredly a level of amusement to be gained from watching titans in the gaming and software industries go at it like children. So stay tuned for further information as the story develops. If you don't go with the direct payment option, the newly implemented discounts won't apply. As such, the company made a decision to offer what would have been paid to Apple and Google to the players in the form of a permanent discount on V-bucks.
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Later in the injunction, Epic also uses Microsoft and Facebook as notable examples of large entities who have fought with Apple over the same matter.
It seems this was the exact response Epic was waiting for, as moments after that the company announced that it is suing Apple.
The rift between Epic Games and Apple has been ongoing for a long time.
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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. Most recently, email app Hey was banned from the App Store after it refused to stop directing users outside the store to pay the app's $99 annual subscription fee. 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.