In a move that seemed calculated to be both to entice players, while targeting Apple and Google, game developer Epic today began offering discounts for Fortnite Players use Epic̵7;s direct payment system for in-game purchases.
Epic announced the “Fortnite Mega Drop” as a 20% permanent discount for purchases across all platforms. Traditional console players (Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch) and on PC or Mac will automatically get a discount. IOS and Android players can choose between the Apple App Store / Google Play Store at the regular price or just below, the same item through Epic direct payment at a discount. Players who have purchased V-Bucks or items with real money since July 14 will also see the bounties in effect again, Epic said.
Epic is not afraid to explain its reasons. “Currently, there are no savings if players use the Apple and Google payment options, where Apple and Google charge an exorbitant 30% fee on all payments,” the company said. . “If Apple and Google lower the payment fee, Epic will transfer the savings to the player.”
Fortnite originally launched on Android outside of the Google Play Store, clearly citing Google’s 30% revenue cut as to why. (It’s not possible to launch apps on iOS outside of Apple’s App Store.) However, in April, Epic abandoned the side loading feature and switched to the Play Store.
Epic said at the time: “Google places downloadable software outside of Google Play and adds that Google uses” business and technical measures like the dreaded, repetitive security pop-up. back to downloaded and updated software, manufacturer and service provider restriction agreements and Google public relations and deals that describe the sources of third party software as software Malicious and new attempts like Google Play Protect to completely block software get out of the Google Play store. “
Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic, has expressed dissatisfaction with Apple cutting in-app purchases for months. “Apple has gone crazy,” he wrote in a series of tweets last month. “Really, Apple doesn’t have a right to take any percentage of any company’s revenue just because it makes the phone people use to access the content.” He continued:
If Apple has a way, they will block the web and make an arbitrary decision about what pages you are allowed to visit … and then claim 30% of the revenue from every company that does business on the web. Binding the operating system to the proprietary software distribution channel and the proprietary payment and tax processor does not require “policy adjustment”, it needs to stop. All these components must be segregated in order to support fair competition between stores, applications and vendors.
Join the club
Epic is the latest in a long line of app developers worldwide to hit a groundbreaking spot with Apple and Google in mobile distribution.
European Union regulators this summer opened an official investigation into Apple’s pricing strategy following a 2019 lawsuit from Spotify. “Apple requires Spotify and other digital services to pay 30% tax on purchases made through Apple’s payment system, including upgrades from Free to Premium. our “, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek wrote at the time. “If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially increase our Premium membership price above the Apple Music price. And to keep our prices competitive for our customers, that’s not what they are. I can do.”
The messaging app Telegram also filed a complaint with EU regulators this year over Apple’s App Store. And ProtonMail founder and CEO Andy Yen earlier this month wrote an article accusing Apple of “taking us all hostage”, adding that their policies were “virtually indistinguishable. is with a guard racket. “
U.S. regulators are also questioning whether Apple’s actions fall within the boundaries of competition laws. Delegates Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) And Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) Brought Apple CEO Tim Cook on duty during an antitrust hearing that lasted last month, after a A year-long investigation of the company’s business found that some major developers, such as Amazon, were able to negotiate preferential treatment.
Google and Apple are both facing the Justice Department’s antitrust investigations regarding their business operations. Details of those polls are not publicly available, but the App Store and Play Store are both believed by many to be among the topics under investigation.