Fortnite and Apple face off over payment policy

From Issue 2


Photo courtesy Epic Games

Nineteen Eighty Fortnite, Epic Game’s spoof of Apple’s famous 1984 advertisement, whcih prompted viewers to resist an overbearing governing body

Recently, the developer of Fortnite (Epic Games’ battle royale game) refused to pay Apple’s regular app fee of 30 percent. This seemingly small issue quickly escalated, with Apple completely removing them from the app store.  

Epic’s response wasn’t exactly a happy one. They released a video on YouTube, mocking an older Apple ad and included players from their game. At the end of the video, Epic said that in retaliation to their actions, “Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming “1984”.” They continued to file a lawsuit against Apple, which prompted Apple to threaten that they would block Epic from selling their games in the app store until they agreed to pay the standard 30 percent commission. 

Apple expressed that they want to repair the damage between themselves and Epic – but they also said that Epic is “putting the entire App Store model at risk.”  After all, Epic did have a contract with Apple, which they deliberately chose to bypass. A few weeks ago Apple attempted to block the restraining request               by Epic that would allow their game to return to the app store. They argue that Epic has no legal right to force their game back into the Store. Apple continues to fight back and deny any negative claims Epic has against them. 

Epic has benefited from the Apple store for many years in the past, so without their services, they will be hurt. Microsoft voiced their support for Epic Games, agreeing that Apple’s actions would greatly hurt Epic and other game creators. Also helping matters, Sony currently has a $250 million share in Epic that they took last month. Tim Sweeney, founder and owner of Fortnite, continues to fight back, saying that Apple has no right to “dictate the terms and of our lives and businesses.”  

Currently, you can’t purchase Fornite from the App store, and any updates to the game aren’t available on any iOS device. Many Fortnite players have differing opinions on this issue. Mayrant Gonwa, junior at Prep, says “I don’t think it matters that Apple took Fortnite off the App store because you would have already had the app if you played Fortnite.” In contrast, another Prep junior, Haddon Mcleod said “Fortnite is a great game and it’d be a shame if it never comes back on the app store.”