It’s another bright new day in 2020, so I guess it’s time to watch three mega corporations throw hissy fits because they aren’t happy with the amount of money they’re making off each other. Last night, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for removing Fortnite from the iOS App Store, after Epic broke Apple’s payment policy. Then the exact same thing happened with Google and the Android Play Store, so naturally Epic are suing them too.
This started yesterday when Epic added a sneaky new payment option to the mobile version of Fortnite, which bypassed official app store payment systems to offer lower prices on Fortnite’s microtransaction cash, V-Bucks. Apple and Google require payments to go through their own store systems, taking a 30% cut on the way. Epic don’t agree with this which, yeah, that’s fair enough. And Apple and Google don’t agree with that.
Apple kicked Fortnite from their store first. Epic retaliated in the most extra way possible, by framing Apple as the villains in a propaganda video broadcast in Fortnite’s in-game cinema (which just so happens to mimic an Apple ad from 1984).
Soon after Apple gave Fortnite the boot, the exact same thing happened with Google (minus the personalised dunk vid). You can still download Fortnite for Android, but not from the official Google Play Store.
“Epic seeks to end Google’s unfair, monopolistic and anticompetitive actions in each of these markets, which harm device makers, app developers, app distributors, payment processors, and consumers,” Epic say in the lawsuit against Google (shared online by The Verge).
They aren’t suing to get money out of either company, rather they say they’re seeking “injunctive relief” that would end the monopolies both companies hold.
It’s a good sentiment. But it doesn’t sit right that Epic are trying to recruit their fanbase (of mostly very young people!) via an in-game propaganda video to rally with the cause of a billion-dollar tech company. Sure, the sentiment is there, but that just doesn’t seem an appropriate way to go about it.
So yeah, look forward to the next few weeks where we get to watch all this legal action play out. Get the popcorn, I guess?