A major legal battle has broken out between Apple and Epic Games, and it could have a significant impact on how much control the tech giant can have over developers who create iOS apps.
Epic released a new update for Fortnite, which allows players to buy in-game currency through their own payment processing system, bypassing Apple's system, which charges a 30% fee on all transactions. To promote the new feature, Epic offered players a discount for purchasing in-game currency directly from them.
That goes against Apple's terms of service, which requires developers to use their proprietary payment system. Apple responded by banning Fortnite from its app 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," Apple said in a statement. "We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store."
Epic was prepared for the move by Apple and responding by filing a lawsuit against the tech giant. They even released a video inspired by Apple's iconic 1984 commercial, calling out the company for blocking Fortnite.
"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," Epic said in its lawsuit.
A few hours later, Google removed the game from its app store as well, and Epic responded by filing a similar lawsuit against Google.
While users who have already downloaded the game on their iPad or iPhone can still play, they won't be able to receive new updates, which are required to keep playing the online shooter. Android users can still install the game, but must install it manually because it is no longer available in the app store.
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