The world of Fortnite mobile received a huge shakeup today after Apple announced they were removing the battle royale giant from their App Store.
This move came as a result of Epic Games effectively cutting Apple out of Fortnite profits by making it possible to purchase V-Bucks directly from Epic itself without the need of a middleman.
The move was announced with a lot of excitement from Epic, but it’s clear that they ruffled some feathers as a result of the change. The decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store can’t come lightly from Apple considering how big the game has become on mobile.
Epic Games Responds
It seems that Epic was prepared in the event of being removed from the App Store and they quickly announced a Party Royale event that seemingly parodies Apple’s 1984 Macintosh commercial.
As if that weren’t enough, the company also decided to file legal paperwork against the tech giant, citing problems with the App Store monetization. To say this is huge news would be a massive understatement because how this case plays out could have ramifications for every app out there.
This isn’t the first time Epic has tried to cut corners either as you’ll remember that the Android launch of Fortnite was not even through the Play Store.
Players on the App Store will be able to play Fortnite as normal until the release of Season 4, which is when they’ll discover they can no longer update the game.
When Epic announced the V-Bucks change, Apple argued that they violated the App Store rules, so the game had to be removed.
Apple provided a statement to The Verge:
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.
This will definitely be a situation to keep an eye on going forward. In the meantime, it’s not looking like Fortnite will be back on the Apple App Store any time soon.
For the time being, Fortnite is still up on the Google Play Store, but there’s no telling if it’ll stay there for long.
Update: It’s gone.