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Apple and Epic Games go to war over Fortnite

A war has broken out between Epic Games and Apple after the video-game developer announced the Fortnite Mega Drop — an offer of  “20% savings on V-Bucks and real-money offers for every purchase on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, and on mobile when using select payment methods.”

Along with the announcement, the company unveiled its own direct payment system in an effort to cut the fees Epic pays the App Store and Google Play Store for purchases.

“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,” the developer wrote. “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.”

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In response to Epic’s decision, Apple has blocked Fortnite on iOS devices.

“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step 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,” an Apple spokesperson told FOX Business. “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.”

The company noted that Epic has had apps on its App Store for a decade and that it has benefitted from the “tools, testing and distribution that Apple provides to all developers.”

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant said that Epic had agreed “to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store,” according to the spokesperson.

Claiming that Epic’s “business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement” the spokesperson added that it “does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”

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As a result of being removed from the App Store, Epic has filed a complaint against the tech giant seeking to end Apple’s “anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.”

The game maker’s complaint states: “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 cannot download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store cannot update it to the latest version.”

“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market,” the complaint states.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Google did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment on Epic’s decision.

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In addition, Fortnite has launched a #FreeFortnite campaign on social media, and unveiled a new short film within the game called Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, which compares Apple to the oppresive regime from the classic dystopian novel by George Orwell, 1984.

“Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices,” the game tweeted. “Visit http://fn.gg/freefortnite and join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming “1984””

The campaign is encouraging users to request a refund from Apple for their iOS purchases.

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