Fortnite is Daring Apple To Shutter Its Game on iPhones

The company that owns Fortnite is making an in-your-face challenge to Apple: We’re not going to obey the rules you’ve set for your powerful App Store. And we dare you to do something about it. From a report: It’s a fascinating standoff between a very profitable, highly valued gaming company and one of the most powerful companies in the world. The way it plays out could have consequences for Apple, its tech rivals — and antitrust regulators. Epic Games, the North Carolina-based developer behind Fortnite and other games, announced on Thursday morning that players who want to buy Fortnite’s virtual currency no longer have to buy it via Apple’s App Store. Instead, they can buy it directly from Epic. The difference for players, however, is that Epic will charge them 20 percent less if they buy the currency from Epic instead of Apple. It’s a small change that’s a big deal because Apple has explicitly prohibited developers from promoting these kinds of end runs around its powerful App Store. Instead, Apple wants developers to sell their digital goods within its marketplace, where it takes a cut of up to 30 percent for each purchase. That stance has long upset developers, who argue that Apple’s fee is too onerous and gives its home-grown products a leg up on competitors by essentially letting Apple sell its own stuff with a much better profit margin. Apple sells its music service, for instance, for $10 a month; if a rival music service sold subscriptions via Apple’s store for the same price, it would have to fork over as much as $3 of that to Apple.

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