Epic Games’ Fortnite has disappeared from the Apple application store following controversial payment changes.
The developer of Fortnite announced earlier today that it'd implement its own method of purchasing Fortnite’s in-game currency rather than using Apple’s App Store. But Epic ensured that players would get a better deal if they bought the currency directly rather than using the App Store.
This meant that Epic would charge 20 percent less if players purchased the in-game currency through Epic instead of Apple. Since Apple takes a small percentage of each purchase made from applications, Apple would effectively lose revenue with Epic’s new discounted method of direct purchase.
As a result, Fortnite is no longer available for purchase in the Apple App Store, according to RoundHill Investments. This was later confirmed by Dot Esports staff in both Europe and North America.
Apple told The Verge that Epic violated its guidelines regarding in-app payments, which led to its removal.
“The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users,” Apple said.
Players who have already installed Fortnite on an Apple device prior to its removal from the App Store can still play the game. But new users who try to download Fortnite will be greeted by third-party applications like Wallpapers, for example, rather than the official game.
Apple said it's possible for Fortnite to return to the App Store but it'd likely require a U-turn on Epic's latest in-app payment scheme.
Update Aug. 13 2:36pm CT: Following Apple's statement, Epic has launched a legal complaint filed in the Northern District of California for injunctive relief. Epic said Apple's action to remove Fortnite from the store was "unlawful."