Fortnite banned from App Store by Apple

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Fortnite and Apple Logo

Apple Inc. has banned Fortnite from App Store due to a legal battle with Epic Games. Epic Games is the developer of the world-famous Fortnite game. Tim Sweeney, the chief executive of Epic Games, has confirmed Fortnite is no longer available to download on iPhones or other Apple devices. However, users who have already downloaded the Fortnite game will be able to carry on playing it though they will not receive any updates of the Fortnite game. Mr. Sweeney says that the appeal process will last longer more than five years to complete. He revealed that via several tweets by calling out Apple.

Also in last year, Apple removed Fortnite from App Store regarding a policy violation. The reason behind it was the launch of Fortnite’s in-app payment system. Fortnite’s feature tried to bypass Apple’s 30% commission on all in-app purchases. After the incident, Epic Games sued Apple for several disagreements. Epic Games said Apple is controlling App Store as a monopoly.

In early September, a US court gave its opinions to both two parties. First, the judge said Epic Games failed to prove Apple’s monopoly run in App Store. But the judge said that Apple could not stop or force app developers on their decisions about introducing third-party payment options for in-app purchases like Fortnite did. Now, both Epic Games and Apple are appealing their respective parts of the judgment.

Mr. Sweeney is furthermore describing and expressing his opinions about the legal battle with Fortnite & Apple via Twitter regularly. And he promised that Fortnite would continue to fight for its fans who played and waited to play Fortnite through Apple devices.

Apple is trying to reshape markets and choose winners and losers by demonstrating its power. Apple keeps telling the court, the media, and the world that they would welcome Fortnite again, but Fortnite has to follow the same rules as everyone else. So, Fortnite & Epic Games agreed. And now, they have gone back on monopoly power over a billion users. Mr. Sweeney said.

Apple briefly responded about the situation. But they confirmed the authenticity of the below letter that Mr. Sweeney shared on Twitter. And Apple officials refused to comment further about the letter. Epic Games had violated policies intentionally. Fortnite concealed code from Apple and made related misrepresentations and omissions. According to that, Fortnite breached the contract and the trust too. There is no reinstate until the judgment becomes non-appealable and final. Apple officials did open up.

Meantime, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook warned employees not to leak confidential information as in Fortnite’s incident. But it is seemed to be that Tim’s warning letter also got leaked. So, he came under fire and promised to identify those who leaked confidential information to reporters and others. And they are ready to use the full power of the company if necessary. He added that the people who leaked information is no longer belong to Apple.

When we talk about the Fortnite game, it was released in 2017 by Epic Games. The Fortnite game already won more than three awards within its second year after the release. It is a successful road when compared to other online games. Fortnite game is available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android. And still, the world-famous game is going well despite the App Store ban. Fortnite set several world records that will take quite some time to break (Or maybe not). Fortnite had more than 125 million players within a year of its launch. There were 78 million downloads of Fortnite on mobile (As of June 2020). 31% of US gamers played Fortnite in 2019. There are more records on that list.

Do you know Apple Inc. is one of the biggest video games companies in the world right now? Yes, it is, surprisingly. Apple doesn’t make video games like Fortnite or consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation. Yet, they managed to climb to the top of the industry. Mr. Tim Cook is playing a massive role in Apple’s video game journey. He became CEO of the company in 2011 after serving as Chief Operating Officer.

Apple’s 30% cut of sales on the App Store is the key to its success throughout the time. However, the apple does earn some serious profits from the video games sector. Recently, statistics proved that Apple grabbed more profits from games than Nintendo, Activision Blizzard. And surprisingly, Apple has beaten Xbox maker Microsft & PlayStation maker Sony too. Apple acts as a gatekeeper to the gaming economy. Apple is the middleman between the gaming world and its more than one billion iPhone users.

However, Apple’s dominance in the video game industry is under threat. Because major companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Fortnite maker Epic Games all set to the next frontier in technology: virtual reality. Apple has to face another massive challenge ahead. China is planning to limit the number of hours children can play games within a day. If this new rule goes into effect, it will be a big blow to Apple. Because a massive profit comes from China when compared to other countries. According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, the famous Honor of Kings generated an estimated $2.5 billion in 2020. It is the number one title of the top five grossing mobile games in the App Store. And there are two more in the first five games. More importantly, all three games are from China.

Meanwhile, Fortnite maker Epic Games has found an alternative way despite the legal battle with Apple. Microsft is going to welcome Epic Games and Amazon its app store without taking commissions. Our business terms are fair. And we always help promote innovation. Microsoft added after the decision. At the same time, tech giant Google is decreasing its commission to 3% from 20%.

It’s not a surprise these changes happen after the ban of the Fortnite game. However, if these changes remain, then it will be a massive chance for app developers. So, the developers can increase their revenue while reaching apps with high volumes of audiences. But Apple users will have to wait so long to play Fortnite on Apple devices again. Let’s hope not.