Every day there seems to be some form of controversy in the game video industry. Whether it’s a studio overworking its developers or a publisher is making a not-so-safe-for-work statement publicly. However, this controversy involves one of the hottest games on the market today, Fortnite.
Fortnite’s developers, Epic, decided it wanted to try to get sneaky and offer their own in-app Fortnite v-bucks purchases for a lower price. The reason why v-bucks were priced the way they were was to cover the costs of their payment processing fees. This isn’t the first time Epic has clashed swords with app stores. Fortnite is notorious for trying to skirt the rules of any app store they land on. Not only do they try to skirt Android and iOS’s app store fees, but they’re openly critical about the percentage these companies take with their transactions. Now that Epic is offering the v-bucks through in-game transactions, there is no way for Apple and Google to get their cut. So naturally, they booted Fortnite off their app stores.
Naturally, Epic was not pleased with this decision and launched a smear campaign with a protest video urging fans to get behind the game with a #FreeFortnite hashtag. Epic has also looked into an antitrust lawsuit to call out Apple’s app store for mostly being a monopoly. It looks like Epic’s decision to offer in-app purchases of Fortnite v-bucks was a provocation towards Apple and Google for scraping off the top and profiting unnecessarily off Fortnite’s popularity. This is a good move for a company that values its consumers over greedy companies.
Fortunately, those who already have Fortnite downloaded on their iOS systems can still access the game. However, they would not be able to patch the game due to apple taking the game down from their store. Unfortunately, that means for Epic to push updates onto its mobile users, they would need to grind their teeth and reinstate the game onto the app store. Many users hope Epic has the pull to stand up to the giants of Apple and Google, but it doesn’t look like Epic has a play in the end. From the billions that Epic has made from Fortnite, the fact that Apple and Google have profited off of it has angered some users.
In Android’s case, it’s not like Epic can’t put Fortnite outside of the Google Play store, but any software downloaded outside the store is at a severe handicap. Epic is tired of being treated poorly by Google and Apple, and they’re not the only ones. The app makers behind Spotify and Tinder have also openly spoken out against the mobile app giants. Right now, Epic is putting up a fight, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to win this Fortnite v-bucks controversy in the end. Fortunately, Fortnite consumers can take advantage of lower prices on v-bucks, for now.