Yo, where we dropping... a lawsuit?
Fortnite on iOS

Apple has removed Epic Games' Fortnite from the App Store after the studio implemented its own in-app payment system. This payment system bypasses Apple's payment system and thus avoids Apple 30% tax on purchases made.

This is, as they say in the biz, a big no-no.

Apple immediately responded by kicking Fortnite off of the App Store. Epic Games also implemented the same payment bypassing option into the Android version of Fortnite though Google has yet to act on the matter. It is strange that Google has yet to act on this matter given that Fortnite, for the longest time, was not allowed on the Play Store for similar issues. Yes, this again had to do with Epic not wanting to give Google a 30% cut of purchases made through Fortnite.

Fortnite was available for Android, but you had to sideload the APK for the game, a practice that is generally frowned upon from Google. Eventually, Google did allow Fortnite to appear on the Play Store, and, perhaps begrudgingly to Epic, resulted in Google taking a 30% cut of V-Bucks profits after this happened.

Prior to being kicked off of the App Store, Epic had announced a new price reduction for the purchase of V-Bucks (use our Epic Creator code "zips" at checkout btw...), wherein 1,000 V-Bucks would now just cost players $7.99 (USD) instead of the normal $10.

Apple provided a statement to the public about the removal of Fortnite from the App Store.

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. 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.

Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement 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.
Epic is of the mindset that they should use services like the Apple App Store and Google Play free of charge without having to pay anything into the ecosystem that they are wanting to make use of. Is Epic in the wrong here? Well, that may be for the courts to decide now.

Epic, in response to having Fortnite kicked out of the App Store, is now suing Apple.

Epic brings this suit to end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market(each as defined below).

Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.
Epic alleges that Apple has a monopoly with their iPhone and iOS ecosystem, and that the App Store binds the two together. They claim that "Apple places unreasonable restrictions on distribution of iOS apps" (via The Verge). They continue on to suggest that Apple has a monopoly and "places unreasonable restrictions on payment processing within iOS apps."

This is all well and good, but this also begs the question then: If Epic believes this is the case for Apple with the iOS store, why then are they not also going after Microsoft with the Microsoft Store? Or Sony with the PlayStation Store? Or even Nintendo with their eShop? All of these stores also take a 30% cut from each sale made through their storefronts, including the purchase of V-Bucks.

This legal filing against Apple was also complimented via a short film that was presented within Fortnite itself at 4PM (ET). It was entitled "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite," and was a cheeky spoof of Apple's own 1984 Mac ad, which itself drew parallels to George Orwell's 1984. Propaganda at its finest? Given how quickly the lawsuit was filed and this film was presented, this was clearly a move that Epic had planned for quite some time now.

Without a doubt, this is not the last we have heard about this lawsuit. Expect to see more about this in the months or even years ahead.