Fortnite removal causes dispute between Apple and Epic Games

Quinn Eyman

Epic Games’ Fortnite has been removed from Apple’s IOS App Store for legal reasons, but there seems to be more to this battle than just ‘Epic vs. Apple’.

   Before this legal battle began, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney claimed on Twitter, “If colleges hold virtual classes through an iPhone app, Apple could demand 30 percent of the tuition.” This was referring to the policy Apple has of claiming 30 percent of all revenue that apps generate through the IOS App Store.

   The whole conflict started when Epic added a link in their mobile version of Fortnite that took users to an external purchasing site. Here they could buy the game’s virtual currency for cheaper than it would have been to buy it from the IOS App Store. Apple found that this violated their terms of service and proceeded to remove it from their store. Epic games filed their lawsuit soon after.

   Apple’s unpopular policy has also been problematic for a large number of other app developers, including Microsoft’s Project xCloud and Floatplane Media’s Floatplane. XCloud, Microsoft’s game streaming service, is currently unavailable on IOS devices, and Floatplane underwent multiple months of changing their app to fit this policy until it could be published to the app store.

   This may not be much of a big deal for IOS users if the only app to be affected was Fortnite, but this affects much more. All development tools for Epic’s game development software Unreal Engine have also been removed, causing major problems for many app and game developers, especially smaller companies.