It’s not supposed to work this way.
When Apple tells a developer to do something, they do it. There’s no way to make money on your terms within Cupertino’s walled garden of an App Store; if you rebel, your app gets kicked out.
Sometimes the company’s limitations can force positive change. When Apple asked game developers to put in loot box odds, they did it. Years of public concern over video games’ proximity to gambling didn’t push developers to add transparency as fast as a new guideline rule for the App Store did.
But quite often, Apple’s policies can be needlessly restrictive, both artistically and commercially. Despite years of criticism, the App Store — one of the biggest storefronts in the business — has a dearth of games about serious topics. Apple doesn’t like them, so they’re not on the platform, and that’s that.
On the App Store, Apple gets what Apple wants. So when Apple asks that developers fork over 30% of in-app purchases as a commission, everyone falls into line. If they don’t agree, like with Apple’s recent decision to keep Xbox streaming service xCloud off the App Store, they must take their toys to another playground.
What Apple says, goes. That is, until now.
Fortnite developer Epic Games surprised everyone on Thursday by attempting to circumvent Apple’s payment processing. The plan was to give players an additional purchasing option for its digital currency: Fans could either buy V-Bucks (Fortnite’s in-game currency) from Apple as usual, or they could choose to buy directly from Epic Games at a 20% discount, with every penny ending up in Epic Games’ pocket instead.
Hours later, Apple retaliated by taking down the ultra popular battle royale game from its platform. Epic, it seems, was expecting this move. Not only did Epic launch a Fortnite event to mock Apple, but the North Carolina-based company immediately filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing…