Apple And Epic Games’s BeefBy Kanyi M
When it comes to Fortnite, Apple, and Epic Games’s conflict gets complicated. The game is a big winner in both the App Store and Google Play. It’s the number 1 free-to-play game globally, with $300 million made per month from microtransactions, including V-bucks. To iOS users, there’s no other way of installing apps without going through the App Store. Apple takes a 30% cut out of all transactions, which adds up to billions of dollars.
Epic Games had been using AWS servers to distribute its app outside of Apple’s system in the past. Epic argued that Apple had cut a deal with Netflix to distribute its app via Apple’s platform, but they would give back less than 30%. The two companies also fought over the definition of a game and the way Apple treats it as a platform. To Epic Games, Fortnite isn’t just a game; it’s a virtual world. In the end, Apple said the company had made a deal with Epic in 2012 to distribute Fortnite outside the App Store. Apple repeatedly argued that they deserve commission as the App Store is a place full of quality apps where users can spend money.
That is the crux of their dispute. Epic wants Apple to be more open about if they get special treatment. On Mac, you can install third-party apps without an App Store. The question now is, will the court side with Epic or Apple? If Epic wins, Google and other companies have a chance to break free from the App Store’s 30% cut rule. It also means iOS users will have more options as they can directly install games or apps from different sources other than App Store.
With Apple’s App Store being a juggernaut in the app distribution market, it’ll be an impossible task for developers to get their apps on iOS devices without going through the App Store.