In the last day, a huge battle has taken place: on one side of the arena Epic Games distributes with Fortnite and on the other side Google (Google) and Apple (Apple), which hold the entire mobile market. A battle that eventually caused the game to be removed from the app stores.
The battle for the big money
As you know, developers who want to sell their goods on the AppStore or Google Play are forced to pay Apple a 20-30 percent commission on every sale made through the platform. In the case of Fortnite, one of the most popular games, it’s millions of dollars a year. In 2019 alone, the game generated profits of $ 1.8 billion, so even after deducting other platforms on which the game exists – these are very handsome sums that reach the pockets of Big and Dark.
Because of this, Afik made many efforts not to pay Google and Apple the royalties, and even when launching the Android version last year, they launched the game for independent download and installation through the company’s website – which it eventually returned to. But last night it decided to take action again and released an update that implements in the game a mechanism that bypasses the internal purchase mechanism of Google Apple, which allows users to choose how to pay. For those who choose the direct mechanism, Afik gave a 20 percent discount against the commission that it would have set aside for Google and Apple.
It wasn’t long before what happened next would probably be written about the history books: Apple, as expected, removed Fortnite from its app store and a few hours later Google joined and did so as well.
In such a channel, such a move was expected, and in response, the developer routinely filed a lawsuit against Apple for anti-competitive behavior and draconian conditions in the app store. And even uploaded to Fortnite’s official YouTube channel, which has over 9.4 million followers, a video that ran in a loop and is a paraphrase of Apple’s famous commercial video – 1948 – in which Apple came out against IBM.
The timing is not coincidental, this comes when Apple is investigated in the US Congress due to antitrust, because it does not allow other companies to compete fairly and Apple, as expected, gives preferential treatment to its products and services like: Apple Music and Apple TV at the expense of competing products like: Spotify, Amazon Prime video, Netflix and more.