CyberTech

Level 32
Verified
Just hours after Epic Games introduced a new direct payment option for Fortnite that skirts Apple's in-app purchase rules, Apple has pulled the Fortnite app from the App Store.

Fortnite is no longer available for download on the iPhone or the iPad, and Apple provided a statement to MacRumors on Fortnite's removal:
Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the ‌App Store‌ guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the ‌App Store‌ guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has had apps on the ‌App Store‌ for a decade, and have benefited from the ‌App Store‌ ecosystem - including it's tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the ‌App Store‌ terms and guidelines freely and we're glad they've built such a successful business on the ‌App Store‌. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the ‌App Store‌.
This morning, Epic Games began letting players purchase 1,000 V-Bucks in the Fortnite app for $7.99, with the purchases going directly to Epic Games rather than using Apple's in-app purchase system.
Update:


Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Apple for pulling Fortnite from the ‌App Store‌. [PDF]

In the filing, Epic Games accuses Apple of being a "the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation" and imposing "anti-competitive restraints" and using "monopolistic practices in markets" against ‌App Store‌ developers.
Apple imposes unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolize both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the ‌App Store‌, where Apple exacts an oppressive 30% tax on the sale of every app. Apple also requires software developers who wish to sell digital in-app content to those consumers to use a single payment processing option offered by Apple, In-App Purchase, which likewise carries a 30% tax.
With the lawsuit, Epic Games says it is not aiming for a cash payout, but instead wants to secure "injunctive relief" in the iOS App distribution market and payment processing market for " hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers."

Update 2: The Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite short is now available on the Fortnite YouTube channel, encouraging people to "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984." The ad is also available in Fortnite.
 

CyberTech

Level 32
Verified
As The Verge points out, the filing specifically cites a situation concerning the special version of Fortnite Epic offered in a OnePlus tie-in. No, not the arrangement for an exclusive emote — instead it’s focusing on the deal for a version of the game built to run at 90Hz and highlight the fast-refreshing screen on their phones. According to the suit, Google prevented OnePlus from offering the game with an install method that bypassed the app store for devices outside of India, and also prevented LG from making a similar deal.
 

CyberTech

Level 32
Verified
Apple is planning to terminate Epic Games' entire access to its App Store and app development tools, Epic Games said today. Apple told Epic that by August 28, all access will be ended.

That includes Epic's access to the development tools necessary to create software for the Unreal Engine that Epic offers to third-party developers for their games. In response, Epic has filed a court order asking a Northern California court to stop Apple from removing Epic's ‌App Store‌ access. [PDF] From the filing:
It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic's access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple's platforms--including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy.
Cutting off Epic's access to Mac and iOS developer tools could have a significant impact on all of the apps and games that use Epic's Unreal Engine. Apple in its letter to Epic Games letting it know about the upcoming account closures says that Epic can avoid having its access revoked by following Apple's ‌App Store‌ guidelines. From Apple's letter to Epic:
Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have identified several violations of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account will be terminated if the violations set forth below are not cured within 14 days. [...]
If your membership is terminated, you may no longer submit apps to the ‌App Store‌, and your apps still available for distribution will be removed. You will also lose access to the following programs, technologies, and capabilities:
- All Apple software, SDKs, APIs, and developer tools
- Pre-release versions of iOS, iPad OS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS
- Pre-release versions of beta tools such as Reality Composer, Create ML, Apple Configurator, etc.
- Notarization service for macOS apps
- ‌App Store‌ Connect platform and support (for example, assistance with account transition, password reset, app name issues)
- TestFlight
- Access to provisioning portal for certificate generation, and provisioning profile generation
- Ability to enable Apple services in-app (i.e. Apple Pay, CloudKit, PassKit, Music Kit, HomeKit, Push Notifications, Siri Shortcuts, Sign in with Apple, kernel extensions, FairPlay Streaming)
- Access to Apple-issued keys for connecting to services such as MusicKit, DeviceCheck, APNs, CloudKit, Wallet
- Access to Developer ID signing certificates and Kernel Extension signing certificates
- Developer Technical Support
- Participation in Universal App Quick Start Program, including the right to use the Developer Transition Kit (which must be returned to Apple)
- Engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware; optimize Unreal Engine on the Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI/Build Systems; and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team
We hope that you are able to cure your breaches of the Apple Program License Agreement and continue to participate in the program.
Epic is asking the court to prevent Apple from taking "any adverse action" against it, including restricting, suspending, or terminating Epic's access to the Apple Developer program. Epic also asks that the court restrain Apple from removing, de-listing, refusing to list, or otherwise making the Fortnite app unavailable, or modifying the Fortnite code.
 
Top