Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is currently in a lawsuit brought forward in August 2020 by Epic game regarding their popular Fortnite game, which runs on, among other platforms, iOS. In the lawsuit, Epic has a problem with iOS
App store’s policy on apps having in app purchases outside the ones provided by app store.
Apple’s big cut
Tim Sweeney, Epic games’ founder, expressed discontent with Apple’s heavy involvement with in-app purchases. He was especially uncomfortable with Apple taking a 30% cut of all in-app purchases made in apps on the app store.
Epic games initially tried to engage Apple to take a smaller cut from Fortnite’s in-app purchases before uploading it on the app store. When this failed, they decided to bypass Apple in their in-app purchases and receive the whole amount. They achieved this with an intentional update on August 13, 2020. This prompted an immediate block from the app store by Apple, which led to the lawsuit.
Apple has put off the lawsuit and called it a marketing stunt by Epic games to gain Fortnite’s mobile version traction. In its filing for the lawsuit, set to start in a month in a California District Court, Apple claims that it’s the most innovative company and Epic games want to ride off its success. Apple continues to say that Epic games is just using a lawsuit to resuscitate flagging interest in Fortnite.
Epic Games is also in a court battle with Google over seemingly very similar circumstances surrounding Fortnite. Epic games updated Fortnite for android bypass Google’s billing on its in-app purchases. However, Google insists that their legal face-off with Epic games is not for the same reasons as their Apple lawsuit.
Epic games stand to lose Fortnite on both Android and iOS if the lawsuits fail. This will be a huge blow to the company, given the growing shift towards mobile gaming.