Fortnite challenges Apple App Store rules with direct-payment discounts

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday announced new payment options that allow customers to buy in-game credits directly from Epic Games. The direct payment option to Epic appears to skirt Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store rules, which require Epic to give those firms a 30% cut of revenue made through the app.

Fortnite challenges Apple App Store rules with direct-payment discounts

Kif Leswing and Todd Haselton for CNBC:

Fortnite is massively popular. Epic knows that. And it may suggest the company wants to see if Apple and Google are willing to upset Android and iPhone users by taking action against Epic.

Apple’s App Store rules say that, on iPhones and iPads, users are required to buy digital goods directly from the App Store. That means, for example, Epic may be breaking the rules by allowing users to buy goods from its own store, and at a discount. Apps that try to skirt the rules could be removed from the App Store. Similarly, Google’s rules say for “apps and in-app products offered through Google Play, the service fee is equivalent to 30% of the price.”

It’s not immediately clear, however, if Epic has a special agreement in place with Apple and Google.

The Fortnite Team:

Get up to 20% savings on V-Bucks and real-money offers for every purchase on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, and on mobile when using select payment methods.

This isn’t a sale… these are new discount prices available anytime!

Today, we’re also introducing a new way to pay on iOS and Android: Epic direct payment. When you choose to use Epic direct payments, you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you.

MacDailyNews Take: You know, it costs money to run the App Store and the value Apple provides to developers of having a safe, secure, organized, curated App Store is actually quite significant.

Epic seems to want to enjoy all of the benefits of Apple’s App Store, including access to 1+ billion of the most affluent users for free. That is illogical, unfair, and, basically, theft, regardless of who gets the “savings.”

If there’s no deal between Apple and Epic for this “Epic direct payment” thing, Apple (and Google) should pull the game until it adheres to App Store rules.


  1. At some point Apple needs to make an example and kick someone out and let them have a timeout on the sidelines (for several quarters). Because the crying for free access is never going to stop.

    The so called big companies want special treatment, let them go Apple.

      1. There is build your own OS/Phone then you can call the shots, Tim Cook is perceived as a weak hired hand, at some point however he will need to give someone a long timeout.

        The top of the pyramid is the owner of the company not a third party freeloader. Flash was a no show on iPhone for the same reason. That decision however was made by a tougher CEO.

  2. Thwarting Capitalist Epic Game’s pushy, predatory Socialist plans would be good for Apple which has its own Capitalist practices to legitimately protect. Besides, Epic has other platforms, as well as its own website, from which to sell its wares.

      1. Socialism and Capitalism are not party-specific as your comment implies; There’s quite a lot of bleed-through, overlap, and shifting back and forth.

    1. Read a little further into the article and I will have to agree with Apple and Google on this one.. Initially I thought it might be a website redirect where you would be transacting outside the App but it does appear the purchase is being made within the App which would IMO definitely breaking the rules on both App Stores.

        1. Yes, I agree.. But I am referring to the reason the Fortnight App was kicked out, primarily bypassing the payment system for each respective App Store when that is part of the agreement to being distributed by each App Store.

          The court documents do however appear to separate out some points, among them being how exclusive each App Store is to their respective platforms. So it is possible they may ‘lose’ the reason for being kicked off but ‘win’ on the point where they would be allowed their own 3rd party App Store. This would be a moot point for the Google case but significant ‘loss’ for Apple in their case.

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