If you’ve never played Fortnite before, you’re at least aware of its existence. The ubiquitous game has infiltrated every level of pop culture; its floss dance has been used in movies, TV commercials, and video games. Even the game itself was featured in the biggest movie of 2019, Avengers: Endgame, where Thor is seen playing it online. As a free-to-play video game, Fortnite had captivated kids, teens, and adults since its release in 2017. Now, due to its enormous popularity, Fortnite game developer Epic feels it has enough power to stand up to Apple by filing a lawsuit against them.
How Fortnite Makes Money
Fortnite is a battle royale-type game set in a post-apocalyptic world infested with zombies. The game was released through Epic Games Inc. and brought in $1.8 billion in revenue in 2019. Because it is free to play, how Fortnite makes money is by conducting microtransactions, meaning players purchase add-ons for the game, such as new costumes and dance moves. Since most players download the game through Apple’s App Store and Google Play, both companies takes a 30% cut from each digital transaction.
Apparently, Epic Games decided to bypass the transaction by allowing players to purchase V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency, directly from their website. In response, on August 13, both Apple and Google pulled the game from their stores. Fortnite then filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming it is monopolizing its app store, right before releasing a cheeky video.
The Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite animation parodies the 1984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott where Apple first announced it was freeing the public from being controlled by introducing Mac computers. The commercial starred English athlete Anya Major and aired during Super Bowl XVIII. It can be seen below.
By utilizing the hashtag #FreeFortnite, Epic Games is comparing Apple to Big Brother from George Orwell’s novel 1984. In short, they believe Apple has become what it once sought out to destroy.
Epic Games Lawsuit
According to the lawsuit filed in a California district court, Epic Games Inc. isn’t asking for money. Rather, they want to put an end to Apple’s stronghold on digital transactions, which Epic claims does not allow for a competitive space. In a Tweet made by the company, Epic Games says that Apple plans to terminate their developer accounts on August 28, 2020. Apple responded to Epic Game’s lawsuit in a statement made to The Verge:
“The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.”Apple
Is Epic Games correct in filing their lawsuit? Or are they at fault for breaching their terms of agreement with Apple and Google? Let us know your thoughts down below.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.