A long, messy legal battle is about to kick off between Epic Games and two of the world’s largest, wealthiest companies, but why? The answer, as if you ever needed to guess, is money.
Announced yesterday and implemented with immediate effect, the studio confirmed that Fortnite‘s premium V-Bucks currency – which is used to purchase cosmetic items such as outfits and weapon skins – would be receiving a permanent 20% discount across all platforms, including mobile versions of the battle royale. In the latter’s case, however, the developer, by knowingly agreeing to Apple and Google’s terms of service, has to pay a 30% fee to each respective company whenever the currency is purchased through iOS and/or Android, a contentious surcharge that it, apparently, is no longer willing to pay.
As depicted in the gallery below, an additional option allowing users to directly pay Epic and circumvent the fee briefly appeared in both versions, a move that swiftly led to both Apple and Google removing the game from view just hours later.
Clearly expecting such an outcome, Epic immediately responded by filing a lawsuit against Apple, accusing it of seeking to monopolize the mobile games market. Similar action has yet to be taken against Google, though a complaint has been filed against it in a California court (H/T, BBC). The reason for this debacle, according to the Fortnite creator, essentially boils down to its claim of seeking a fairer, more equal playing field for mobile game developers that aren’t forced to pay so-called levies just for using iOS or Android.
Considering its past actions concerning Epic Game Store exclusivity, the hypocrisy on display here certainly isn’t lost on everyone, and from an outside perspective, this certainly seems to be little more than an incredibly expensive publicity stunt. Will it pay off? Let us know what you think in the usual place below!