In mid-August 2020, Fortnite developer Epic Games added the ability to pay for in-game purchases directly, bypassing the App Store , not wanting to pay Apple a 30% commission. Soon Apple removed the Fortnite app from the App Store, followed by Google Play moderators, where the developer also violated store rules with a new method of paying for purchases in the game. In response, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple in order to achieve lower App Store fees for all developers, along the way accusing Apple of monopoly and non-competitive behavior. In this article, we will keep a chronology of the conflict between Apple and Epic Games – almost every day new details emerge in this case.
What Epic Games blames Apple for. Apple has been increasingly accused of monopoly takeover of the app ecosystem lately. Until recently, the media dealt with this, but now Apple is increasingly having to testify in the antitrust policy commissions and in various other bodies of the United States and the European Union. Of the amount paid by the buyer, Apple takes 30% for itself, 70% goes to the developer. Epic Games thinks the commission is too high, and Apple is taking advantage of its monopoly position to dictate its terms to app creators.
Apple's trial against Fortnite
August 17, 2020. Most of the polled AppleInsider.ru readers – 35% – answered that they support Apple in the conflict that has begun . There are plenty of those who are in this conflict on the side of Epic Games, too – as much as 26% of the total number of respondents. 13% of the respondents answered honestly that they had not decided.
August 18, 2020: In response to Epic Games' legal action, Apple has notified that its developer account will be terminated on August 28 unless Epic has removed the alternative payment method from Fortnite by that time. The developer has not yet reacted to this in any way, in Fortnite there are still two payment methods available: directly and through the App Store (more expensive, with a commission of 30%).
Apple also said it intends to disable the Unreal Engine , which Epic offers to third-party developers. Not limited to simply removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic's entire gaming business.
August 19, 2020. iPhones with Fortnite installed began to be sold at online auctions for big money. With Fortnite no longer available in the App Store, and may never be available again, the iPhone with the game installed became a tremendous value overnight. In any case, the users themselves decided so. The most adequate offer from those who wanted to make money on the exclusive content of their iPhone was estimated at more than $ 4,000 .
August 21, 2020. Apple said Epic Games was trying to get the App Store "special conditions" even before the developer filed a lawsuit. According to the head of the App Store Phil Schiller, Epic Games offered to sign an agreement that would allow it to receive not 70%, but 100% of the revenue from in-app purchases in Fortnite and not pay the Apple commission .
The head of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, responded by saying that the developer was really trying to achieve special conditions in the App Store, but not only for his company, but for all developers. In the letter, he does express the hope that after the introduction of "special conditions" for Epic, Apple will open up similar opportunities for other developers.
August 22, 2020 – Amid the Epic Games scandal, Apple pushed the WordPress app developer to add subscriptions to paid features. While it was possible to buy additional features like a short URL or additional themes on the WordPress site, users only had access to create a free website in the app. According to Apple, if a developer offers to buy additional functionality on another platform, such an opportunity should be in the mobile application as well.
Heads up on why @WordPressiOS updates have been absent … we were locked by the App Store. To be able to ship updates and bug fixes again we had to commit to support in-app purchases for .com plans. I know why this is problematic, open to suggestions. Allow others IAP? New name?
– Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) August 21, 2020
Unlike Epic Games, WordPress has n't sued Apple . The app will soon be able to purchase a subscription to additional features. However, in the developer community, this requirement caused a wave of indignation. For example, does this mean that Tesla has to pay a 30% App Store commission if it offers to buy the autopilot feature in a mobile app?
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