Epic Games introduced new prices and options for Fortnite players.
Epic presented the Fortnite “mega drop,” which is a permanent discount on V-bucks and other cash purchases in the game of up to 20 percent. The developer noted that it’s not a sale, so the team has new prices for the in-app currency for both the PC and console versions of Fortnite.
If players purchase V-bucks or other stuff in Fortnite via the App Store or Google Play Store, it will cost players the same as always. The thing is that the new direct option comes with a discount. If you use Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google get a 30 percent fee on all payments, but the new option features no additional fees.
"By offering an alternate payment system, we’re not only offering players more choice, but we’re able to pass along the savings to players," wrote Epic. "In operating Fortnite on open platforms and operating the Epic Games Store, Epic has processed over $1,600,000,000 of direct payments successfully, and uses industry-trusted encryption and security measures to protect customer transactions."
This is quite an interesting development for Epic and for Apple as well. For years, Apple and Google had the payment monopoly on products, which were distributed with their stores. They implemented policies that didn't allow developers to use any other payment methods outside of the provided by Apple and Google. This new step by apple opens up a new opportunity for developers and publishers to provide customers with a very important option. It feels like a very American way to do, fighting for the freedom of the choice, and allowing customers to basically choose between different options.
We'll still have to wait and see how Apple reacts to this payment revolution, but we'd be very interested to learn what do you guys think about it? Is it worth the risk? Would you do the same with your project, risking being banned from the store? Do you think Epic will be able to fight the monopolies in mobile games? Would love to hear your thoughts.
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UPD: Apple decided to remove Fortnite from the App Store. The company states that Epic is violating its App Store guidelines by using its own payment system. "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," wrote Apple. "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."
UPD #2: Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, decided to sue both Apple and Google after the companies removed the app from their app stores. "Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear," wrote Epic. They've also launched the #FreeFortnite campaign and shared a new video.