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Apple Bans Fortnite From Its App Store, Maker Epic Games Files Suit Against iPhone Maker

Apple Bans Fortnite From Its App Store, Maker Epic Games Files Suit Against iPhone Maker
One of the world's most popular games Fortnite has removed by Apple from its App Store which now prevents iPhone users from downloading the game.
This move was taken by Apple following an update by Fortnite for its users in which it allowed users to avail a rebate for players purchasing in-game currency if such purchases were made by them directly from the website of the maker Epic Games thereby bypassing Apple.
Epic filed a legal complaint against Apple within minutes of the removal which makes it apparent that the gaming company was anticipating the ban by the iPhone maker.
A commission of 30 per cent is taken by Apple for all sales made from compulsory payment system.
Sometime later, Google too had apparently removed the game from its app store even though the game can still be downloaded by Android phone users via other means such as the launcher of Epic Games.
However on the iOS, the only legitimate way to load apps is on the App Store. But Epic had taken the "unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines", Apple said. Under those guidelines, no other payment system except that of Apple can be used which has been the cause of a number of high-profile tussles between app developers and Apple.
Those iPhone users who already have the app installed on their phone should be able to continue to play the games until the next update for the game is rolled out, Epic said. After that, some of the game features would be lost on iPhones.
Those using Apple Mac computers for the game will remain unaffected since that version of the game does not use the iOS App Store
The imminent in-game screening of a short film titled Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite - a play on George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, was also announced by Epic in addition to tweeting the legal complaint it filed in a California court.
"Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation," said Epic Games in its legal complaint.
By deciding what apps can appear on iPhones as well as demanding that its own payment system should only be used – which draws a commission of 30 per cent on all transactions, Apple effectively runs a monopoly, the court documents alleged.
Epic's update breaking the rules "was done to make Apple remove the app", said Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis.
"Removing Fortnite from the App Store helps to deliver a groundswell of support for Epic, something it is trying to achieve."
For Fortnite iPhones are not the biggest platform, he said and added that the gaming company will still feel the pinch of the ban because the iOS version "generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue every month on Apple platforms".

Christopher J. Mitchell

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