Epic bypasses iOS and Android store fees for Fortnite (UPDATE: Apple and Google started Fortnite)

Epic Games has been fighting for some time against the 30% reduction in revenues from mobile platforms on games sold in their stores. The company appeared to surrender earlier this year, finally making Fortnite available on the Google Play Store, but now Epic is trying a different approach.

Epic introduced a permanent 20% discount on everything Fortnite – whether you use V-Bucks or real money – which it calls the “Fortnite Mega Drop.” PC or console gamers don’t have to do anything special; discounts were automatically applied.

If you buy on mobile, you’ll have the option to pay through the store as usual or through an “Epic direct payment option,” which comes with the 20% discount. As Epic reminds gamers, Google and Apple normally take a 30% reduction in sales, which apparently doesn’t apply to the direct payment option. However, “if Apple or Google reduces their payment fees in the future, Epic will pass the savings on to you.”

It’s unclear how Epic is able to make this kind of offering, and if it’s somehow done with the blessing of mobile stores or if it’s some kind of dishonest operation. If this is the first case, it could be a “test case” that the companies agree on to see how well received it is, with the possibility of making such changes for other games at. the future. If it is the latter, one would have to wonder how stores would allow Fortnite to function, effectively for free, on their platforms. Even the Epic Games Store collects revenue (12%) from its partners. We’ll wait and see if Google or Epic take action, and if they don’t, we’ll have to assume it’s done with their consent.

One of the main reasons Google gave as to why all purchases had to go through their store (and charge a fee) was the security it offered. Epic Games went into great detail to explain their security measures for Epic direct payment in a FAQ.

The new discount is not available in all countries at this time. Players who purchased V-Bucks between July 14 and August 13 will receive a nice bonus equal to 20% of total purchases during that time. Additionally, Epic is giving away a free Shooting Starstaff pickaxe to all players. Learn more about this offer on the Fortnite website.

UPDATE 1 (Mike Byrne): It didn’t last long! Jason’s speculation above turned out to be true, and the decision was apparently made without Apple’s blessing, resulting in the game’s removal from the App Store. A statement given to The Verge says Apple would like to fix this issue with Epic Games, but they won’t make any special arrangements for the title. Their statement below coincides with the removal of Fortnite from the store. We’ll keep you posted on any response Google decides to do now that Apple steps in first.

Today Epic Games made the unfortunate decision to violate the App Store guidelines which apply equally to all developers and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic activated a feature in their app that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intention of violating the App Store guidelines for in-app payments that apply to each. developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has been offering apps on the App Store for a decade and has benefited from the App Store ecosystem, including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic has freely agreed to the App Store Terms and Guidelines and we are happy that they have built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement doesn’t change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will do our best to work with Epic to resolve these violations so that they can get Fortnite back to the App Store.

UPDATE 2 (3:43 p.m. EST, 8/13/2020) (Mike Byrne): Epic Games has already filed before the US courts for the granting of an injunction against the actions of Apple. In the 65-page dossier (which just HAD to be ready to go pending a decision from Apple), Epic revisits previous public arguments that the Apple Store has become a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle trade. innovation “, and that Apple removed Fortnite” rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offer. “

UPDATE 3 (4:13 p.m. EST, 8/13/2020) (Mike Byrne): Fortnite just hosted an in-game event featuring their short film “Nineteen Eighty Fortnite” spoofing Apple’s iconic 1984 ad unveiling the Macintosh and introducing the #freefortnite tag on social media. Looks like Epic was 100% ready for this fight … well, given that they started it, I hope they were, but it could be some really sad territory with two huge companies coming together. slapping it like that as the two try to tout their point of view as “consumer” or “developer” friendly.

UPDATE 4 (8:22 p.m. EST, 8/13/2020) (Jason Winter): Google also kicked Fortnite from the Play Store. While you can still play the game on Android devices, through other stores that legally operate there, or by downloading the game directly from Epic, Epic’s new deal is apparently contrary to Google’s mandate that products from the Play Stores that offer in-game purchases cannot bypass the store.

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