Epic Games Declares War on Apple's App Store Monopoly, Gets Removed from App Store and Files Lawsuit

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Epic Games, the company behind the hit Battle Royale game Fortnite, has had enough with Apple's 30% App Store cut and essentially declared war on Apple by offering customers a way to pay directly, thus circumventing Apple and their 30% fee. Apple responded quickly by banning Fortnite from the App Store and Google did the same a few hours later. Epic Games immiedietely responded with a lawsuit claiming that Apple is being anti-competitive.

So what does this all mean today? Fortnite is no longer available on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Android users however can download the game directly on their mobile devices, but new players on iOS will not be able to play the game. Those with the game already downloaded will be able to keep playing, but won't be able to update their game, so they won't be able to get the next battle pass when it launches.

Epic Games also released a short video trolling Apple with a parody of the company's iconic 1984 advertisement (back when Apple was the underdog against PC giant IBM).

If you haven't seen the original 1984 Apple advertisement, you can see it here:

1984 Apple's Macintosh Commercial (HD)

I commend Epic Games for taking a stance against Apple. At least those on Android can still download Fortnite outside of the Google Play Store, but that isn't an option on Apple devices. Epic Games' crusade against Steam has allowed more money to flow to game developers as the Epic Game Store charges substantially less fees than Steam. The problem here though is that unlike the PC, which is largely an open platform, Apple runs a closed ecosystem, so the only chance Epic has to fight back against Apple's 30% platform fees is to prevail in court.

Epic brings this suit to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market (each as defined below). Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, 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. -Epic Games Lawsuit

Further reading: Epic Games announcement

The Apple case is Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., 20-cv-05640, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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