Talking Tech - August 15:
Fortnite and Apple’s battle royale

Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world and has now effectively gone dark on one of the biggest gaming platforms in the world. It’s all over the 30% Apple collects on purchases made inside their ecosystem. 

Fortnite published an App update that offered a way to pay for tokens inside the game without using Apple’s in-app-payment option. They didn’t remove the option to pay through Apple though, although they charged more to buy their token via Apple to make up for the 30% processing-fee. That was in breach of Apple’s developer guidelines – which all developers, no matter their size – need to follow.

This was a super calculated move. They did it knowing full well that Apple would remove them from the app store. They had a lawsuit ready to go and even an animated game-style video ready to show in the app and on YouTube. They wanted to draw attention to this issue in a big way.

This lawsuit, lodged with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, is trying to position Apple’s App Store as a monopoly. They say they’re not seeking money or special treatment – they want both in-app payments and app distribution to be opened up so Apple doesn’t have such a stranglehold over developers.

What happens to Fortnite players on iOS?

The game will continue to function as normal up until the release of Chapter 2 – Season 4. That’s when the game will require a substantial update and now that it’s not available on the App store, that will render the current version useless.


Paul Stenhouse is the Technology Contributor on Newstalk ZB’s ‘Saturday Morning with Jack Tame’.

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