If you somehow managed to miss out on yesterday’s hoopla between Fortnite developer Epic Games and Apple, the wildly popular battle royale was removed from the App Store. This was after Epic deliberately tried to circumvent Apple’s 30% cut from purchases made through Apple’s digital storefront by allowing people to pay Epic directly for the game’s in-game currency. In accordance with its own regulations, Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store, and Epic responded with two things: a lawsuit and an in-game parody of Apple’s 1984 ad to rally fan support. While the entire thing just seems like a long game for Epic to get to the lawsuit and potentially shake things up with Apple’s distribution practices with the public backing of Fortnite’s fanbase, Google has also entered the fold by removing the game from the Android store, resulting in its own lawsuit.
This lawsuit (via The Verge) uses much of the same language the one directed at Apple did, primarily saying that Google’s 30% cut of app purchases is “unfair, monopolistic and anticompetitive” and harms “device makers, app developers, app distributors, payment processors, and consumers.”
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While it lacks the same theatricality of Epic’s spat with Apple, ultimately, the lawsuit looks to accomplish the same thing. If Epic wins, Apple and Google might have to to take a smaller cut from purchases in the future, which could, in theory, help every developer and creator on these stores. Epic is obviously working with its own self-interests in mind, but if other people trying to make money off their games and apps are able to benefit, that seems like an overall win? However, it will come down to whether or not any changes that come from these lawsuits ends up actually benefiting everyone using these storefronts and not just Fortnite, which is not unheard of. Some apps, like Spotify, have had special deals with Apple that let them circumvent the usual 30% pay cut. In Spotify’s case, this is a 15% cut, half of what it would under different circumstances. So it really comes down to whether or not Epic wants actual change across the board, or just for Fortnite. So we’ll have to wait and see what comes of these in the end.
In the meantime, people already playing Fortnite on Apple and Android devices will be able to keep playing the game, but won’t get any new content or play with others once the game’s next update goes live, according to the webpage Epic has set up on the game’s website regarding the situation.
“If you already downloaded Fortnite via the App Store, you should have no issues continuing to play Chapter 2 – Season 3’s 13.40 update — whether you’re only playing on mobile devices or also playing the latest version of Fortnite on other devices.
Once Chapter 2 – Season 4 begins, players accessing Fortnite will still be able to play the 13.40 version of Fortnite, but will not be able to access any new content or the new Battle Pass.”