Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Epic Games Introduced a Direct Payment Mechanism in Fortnite, So It Was Kicked Out of the App Store

Epic Games:

Today, we’re also introducing a new way to pay on iOS and Android: Epic direct payment. When you choose to use Epic direct payments, you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you.

Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply. If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.

Nick Statt, the Verge:

Apple has removed Epic Games’ battle royale Fortnite from the App Store after the developer on Thursday implemented its own in-app payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard 30 percent fee. The decision marks a significant escalation in the feud between Epic and one of the most popular mobile app stores in the US, and it comes at an especially fraught time for Apple as the iPhone maker navigates antitrust concerns over its operation of its mobile marketplace and the rules it imposes on certain developers.

This is not a “significant escalation” as much as it is a significant instigation: Epic Games knew that trying to bypass Apple’s in-app payment mechanism was risky because it is not permitted, it did it anyway, and Apple responded by removing the app. You may believe, as I do, that the App Store policies need changing and that a 30% commission is probably outdated, but this is an entirely predictable consequence.

I don’t know that anything will come of this, specifically. Fortnite will probably be back in the App Store within a matter of days, sans in-app purchase bypass, and the App Store will probably keep chugging along. But something must give way when developers big and small are loudly making their dissatisfaction known.

The pot is on the stove and it is heating up. Anyone want extra butter on their popcorn?

Update: That was fast — Epic Games is suing Apple (PDF). I can’t think of another lawsuit that was marketed so well.