Over the last year or so, Apple has been criticized for its App Store policies by some major developers including Spotify, Tinder, and more. However, Epic Games is taking the fight to Apple in public by first releasing an update for ‘Fortnite’ on the App Store with a direct payment system in violation of the App Store regulations. Then, when Apple removed the game from the store, Epic Games retaliated by filing a lawsuit against the company and mocking its iconic 1984 ad.
In its announcement post for the ‘Fortnite’ update, Epic Games made it clear that it was offering a 20 percent discount on V-bucks for customers who used the direct payment method as the company did not have to pay Apple any commission on those transactions. The company is basically trying to get the public sentiment in its favor and against Apple because not many consumers know that they have to pay extra to developers in some cases to make up for the App Store tax. Epic Games also tried to take the high road by claiming in its lawsuit against Apple that it did not want any monetary compensation and that it was doing this for the freedom of consumers and developers.
Remember, Epic Games would not have been where it is today without the App Store. The company was fine with following the rules all these years but now that Apple is raking in billions of dollars every quarter via the App Store, Epic Games is finding the fees too high.
To a certain extent, Epic Games and other developers are right in their claim. Apple does have tight control over the App Store and its monopolistic practices do lead consumers to pay more in some cases. Apple has also used its power unfairly to promote its own apps and services and kill the competition. However, Apple is not completely wrong in charging app developers a 30 percent tax. The company started building the App Store a decade ago when the iPhone was nowhere near as popular as it is today. It has invested years of resources and effort into making the App Store what it is today.
A large part of the App Store’s success can also be attributed to its rules and regulations. Without them, the App Store would not have been filled with hundreds of thousands of quality apps and allowed developers to make billions of dollars over the years. As I have previously argued, Apple needs to do more for developers by offering them better tools, better support when they reject app updates and reducing the transaction fees after a certain threshold.
If Apple ends up allowing app developers to use their own payment method, it could lead to shady apps scamming users. With Apple, one knows that their payment details are safe and sound but the same will not be true for direct payment options offered by third-party developers. What are your thoughts on the entire Apple vs Epic Games saga? Which side do you think is right? Take part in our poll and let us know by dropping a comment below!