Epic Games, Apple, and Google took part in the most massive gaming scandal this summer. Epic Games has long complained about high fees on payments and in-app purchases on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
As a solution to this problem, the company implemented its own payment system – Epic – into the popular online shooter Fortnite.
The Fortnite update lets players buy in-game currency at a lower rate if they purchased directly from Epic, bypassing Apple. Players could save up to 20% when choosing Epic. As a result, 1,000 V-bucks could be bought for $7.99, not $9.99.
When you use the standard payment options offered by Apple and Google, those companies charge a 30% commission, and the 20% discount does not apply. At the same time, Epic Games promised to transfer part of the funds to the players if, in the future, Apple or Google reduce their commission on payments.
The reaction from Apple and Google was almost immediate – the companies removed Fortnite from their official stores. The explanation was quite simple: Epic Games violated the content moderation policy by implementing a new feature without the service moderators' approval.
At the same time, Android users were not upset, and they can easily install the game using the official website. But iPhone owners are not yet able to install the game. At the same time, those who already have Fortnite installed will be able to continue playing, but will not receive updates.
After that, Epic Games released a video based on Apple's famous 1984 ad, which is based on George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The novel is about a dystopian society that controls its citizens and tolerates no dissent, and was itself referenced by Apple in a famous television ad in 1984 when the young company styled itself as taking on then-dominant IBM.
Epic Games directly referenced that advertisement in its legal complaint: "Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation."
In addition, Epic Games has filed lawsuits against Apple and Google, accusing them of violations of antitrust laws.