Advertising

Why has Apple Banned Fortnite? Here’s the tea!

The newest gossip in the tech world is Apple's ban on Epic Games' Fortnite. The game is played worldwide and grosses millions of dollars, so what caused Apple to take such drastic actions? Let's find out!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
 

Over a week ago, Fortnite developer Epic Games initiated an unprecedented antitrust legal fight with Apple over its App Store rules. This lawsuit has brought a new wave of attention to the companies’ conflict, making it a trending topic all over social media. More importantly, Apple banned Fortnite when the dispute seemed unsolvable.

On the 21st, Apple entered into evidence a series of emails from Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney. These showed requests from Sweeney to exempt Fortnite from its standard 30% cut; also, to allow Epic to offer its own mobile app store.

These emails show extensive discussions between Sweeney and Apple. However, Epic took action to incorporate an alternate payment mechanism into the Fortnite app, despite the debate. Then, Apple clapped back by ejecting the game from the App Store last week – basically, Apple banned Fortnite.

The emails show Sweeney lobbying Apple for the power to include this option months in advance; he also requested Apple to extend this courtesy to all iOS developers. The Epic CEO was effectively asking if Apple would restructure the App Store and iOS as we know it.

“If Epic were allowed to provide these options to iOS device users, consumers would have an opportunity to pay less for digital products and developers would earn more from their sales,” Sweeney wrote in June. “We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers in order to make software sales and distribution on the iOS platform as open and competitive as it is on personal computers.”

Moving forward

What follows is a staggering series of escalations between Sweeney and Apple’s executive and legal teams. The result is in an email from Sweeney sent at on August 13th — the day of the eventual removal of Fortnite from the App Store — in which the Epic chief executive tells Apple CEO Tim Cook and fellow executives Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and Matt Fischer that Epic will “no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions”.

Sweeney goes on to warn Apple of the forthcoming legal battle. In his final email, he says “if Apple chooses instead to take punitive action by blocking consumer access to Fortnite or forthcoming updates, then Epic will, regrettably, be in conflict with Apple on a multitude of fronts – creative, technical, business, and legal – for so long as it takes to bring about change, if necessary for many years.”

Background

Apple‘s argument with Epic Games, the company behind the popular battle title Fortnite, goes back to June. And it started with Epic asking for a deal to offer a competing app store and payment system, separate from Apple’s, on iPhones.

Epic’s lawsuit alleges that Apple has become a ‘behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation’.”Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched and more pernicious than monopolies of yesteryear,” Epic said in its initial suit. “Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.”

Read more: Facebook calls Apple ‘elitist’ amid row on App Store commissions

However, Apple blames Epic for causing its own problems; it says that Epic could return to the App Store if it merely removed the offending payments system. Epic’s Sweeney says he’s advocating for all developers on Apple’s platform.