The Epic vs. Apple showdown has become a bit of a spectator sport over the last few months. The latest episode in that saga unfolded over the weekend, with a ruling in Apple’s favour: Epic now owes the Californian tech-goliath $6 million.
Epic lost the battle, but the war’s not over
If you’re still not familiar with this legal brawl, the long and short of it as relevant to this news is that Epic wasn’t happy with Apple’s App store skimming 30% off of the top of any purchases made inside of the Fortnite app. To avoid this tax, the games-maker threw a redirect option into the app which would allow users to fork their cash over to Epic directly rather than through the app store.
For this offence, Apple booted Fortnite out of the App Store, and has been duking it out with its maker ever since.
Despite being thrown out of the App Store, users with Fortnite already installed on their devices could still play it, and, more importantly, could still make in-app purchases directly to Epic, until a later update made the game unplayable. While it was still active, Fortnite on iOS made $12,167,719.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, of the District Court for Northern California ruled last week that Apple does not hold an unfair monopoly in mobile gaming, reports MacRumours, and that Epic owes it 30% of what Fortnite earned between August and October 2020, and from 1 November 2020 to now, which comes out at $6 million.
The ruling isn’t a total loss for the developer though. It also requires that Apple allow developers to add redirect links, buttons and prompts to allow users to buy in-app purchases directly from them, rather than through the App Store. It doesn’t do much to ease the sting of that $6 million slap, but it’s certainly something.
If you got your hopes up that this might have meant Fortnite would make a grand return to the App Store, we’re sorry to disappoint you. Epic plans to keep up the fight, having filed an appeal against Rogers’ ruling, and CEO Tim Sweeny says Fortnite will only return to the App Store Shelf, “when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers.”