Why is the famous Fortnite game removed from the App Store and Google Play? The game is still available on the game console, but what is it happening? Well, things started to stink when Epic Games decided to sue Apple and Google last week. Fortnite was removed from the two giant digital distribution platforms due to the 30 percent commission being asked of Epic Games. The fee is for micro-transactions.
It looks like the console makers like Microsoft and Sony don’t ask for this 30 percent cut on all transactions. Therefore, the video game company was looking for a way not to pay this fee for micro-transactions on the two giant platforms. This fee is not a new thing. It has been applied to apps available on the App Store and Google Play for over a decade.
Apple and Google
As expected, Apple and Google quickly responded to this situation by removing Fortnite from its platform. However, this move is now aiding Epic Games. As soon as Google and Apple removed the popular video game from their platform, the video game company filed a lawsuit.
Maybe you don’t know this about Epic Games, but it does have a thing or two for drama. Therefore, they released a movie making fun of Apple’s famous 1984 ad. They view Apple as the villain taking their profits and controller.
Basically, Epic Games believes the 30 percent commission on micro-transactions is just an extra fee that should not exist. They also believe the fee stifles innovation and runs afoul of antitrust law. Epic Games disputes Apple even further and stands for the interest of the consumer choice. They are trying to say that Apple should let rival app stores on its own platform for the sake of the public.
Here’s a part of Epic’s lawsuit against the iPhone maker company:
Apple unlawfully maintains its monopoly power from the iOS App Distribution Marketplace through the anti-competitive acts described herein, such as by imposing technical and contractual limitations on iOS, which prevents the distribution of iOS programs through means other than the App Store and prevents developers from distributing competing app stores to iOS users.
Apple unlawfully maintains its monopoly power in the iOS App Distribution Market through its unlawful denial to Epic and other program distributors of an essential facility–accessibility to iOS–that prevents them from competing in the iOS App Distribution Market.
While Epic would have you think that it’s position is a noble one to the extent that it’s simply trying to give consumers more choice —and save money in the process — that the reality is a bit more nuanced. Even if we disregard the claim that the distribution of iOS software constitutes a distinct market,and even though we dismiss the idea that Apple shouldn’t apply any control over the type of applications allowed to run on iOS apparatus.
Kyle Orland of Ars Technica opinion on this situation
Let’s have a look at a more accurate opinion on this situation. It looks like almost all Epic’s complaints against the two giant digital distribution apply to other platforms, such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.
Even the console platforms take the 30 percent commission of all micro-transaction earnings. Well, isn’t this just funny? Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tried to form an explanation against this alleged fact by finding an excuse. From his point of view, Sony’s PlayStation and the Nintendo Switch are an exception due to economic grounds.
The whole situation seems a bit odd if you ask me, but it is what it is. What do you think about the lawsuit and the 30 percent cut?