In August 2021, Apple invited Epic Games to return Fortnite to the App Store and Google Play app under the old terms. This means that a return can only happen without its own payment system. Essentially, Apple is offering Epics to return the status quo (the position that was before the war).
In turn, Epic Games considers such an initiative to incite conflict and a manipulative way to attract public attention.
What is the essence of the conflict?
Epic Games in 2020 allowed Fortnite iOS users to choose between paying via Apple and Google, or direct payments to the developer's account. In response, Google and Apple banned Fortnite updates. Moreover, Apple has promised to block all games running on the Unreal Engine.
Epic Games Position
The Epic Games team believes that the offer to return Fortnite, using only Apple Payments, is a proposal of collusion and is motivated solely by the desire to maintain the monopoly of Apple and Google. The result will be suppression of competition in the gaming market, as well as unjustified price increases.
Epic Games resolutely refused to make such a deal also because it considers the right of every player to manage their money without restrictions and save their own funds, fundamental in the free world.
Each owner of a PC or mobile gadget must independently choose and install applications. Software developers are free to express their ideas and compete with each other. The politics of multinational corporations deprive us of all these freedoms.
Moreover, Apple not only prohibits developers from implementing their own payment systems, but also imposes a ban on information about discounts outside of iOS.
Apple and Google position
Representatives of Apple and Google believe that their position complies with the internal rules of the companies, and anyone who disagrees with it is not allowed to use their resources. They use the fact that most of the content in the App Store is free of charge as an argument.
In defense of their position, they accused Epic Games of planning a scandalous campaign against the App Store and Google Play long before the conflict and the blocking of Fortnite.
The question was also asked why Epic Games does not reduce the commission in other stores and considers it fair.
What did the confrontation of the giants lead to?
Fortnite players were the first to suffer as a result of the corporate confrontation. The denial of access to their favorite game for many, came as a shock and forced them to look for workarounds to penetrate the cherished cartoon world. Some fans began to play without installing Fortnite, through cloud services, and some left the game.
Epic Games lost access to a huge audience and suffered losses that the company prefers not to mention.
The litigation also affected the interests of other companies, as the proceedings were conducted with the study of the internal processes of the gaming business. Roblox, Spotify, Nintendo, Sony were outraged by the requirement to study their documents and were unhappy with their inside information being made public.
A wide public outcry led to the fact that in the summer of 2021, the United States prepared a bill regulating the activities of mobile services. Epic Games has supported this initiative and considers it fair.
Google did not comment on the situation, and Apple representatives evasively reported that their strict requirements for developers are explained by the priority of the convenience and safety of users who purchase their product.
What should users expect?
The next court hearings will be held on September 28, 2021. The situation could change dramatically if the announced bill is passed. In this case, Epic Games will win the lawsuit, and developers will be allowed to add third-party payment systems to applications and inform players about promotions outside of stores. If the law is not enacted by then, then the chances of Fortnite's return to iOS are diminishing. In the meantime, millions of players await the restoration of free access to Fortnite.