Fortnite Developers’ Fight Against Apple Inc.

If you haven’t already heard, Apple Inc. and the company that developed Fortnite (Epic Games) have been at it in courtrooms for about a year already. Apple users haven’t been able to download the game since the two companies started their battle. 

Epic Games

Founded three decades ago by Tim Sweeney, Epic Games has come a long way from its humble roots at its founder’s home garage. The company deals with software development and video games. Their gaming engine Unreal is widely successful and has also been used in making a few movies. Filmmakers use the game engine to create virtual sets to compose shots in real-time and speed up the filmmaking process. Popular movies that have used Epic Games’ engine include Westworld and The Mandalorian.

Epic Games has developed many games over the years. However, the highest success for the company is their multiplayer online game Fortnite: Battle Royale.  

Fortnite

Developed and released in 2017, supposedly from a game jam session within the company, the game can be said to have a genre of its own. Within the first few months, Epic Games saw the worldwide success of PUBG and decided to follow them into the battle royale genre.

Three separate game modes are available on Fortnite, the most popular being Fortnite: Battle Royale. Gamers became obsessed, watching at least 50 million accumulative hours every month since March 2018 to date on Twitch. It has received multiple awards, and its successful streak doesn’t seem like it’s ending soon. The games are available on all major game consoles and operating systems.

The game is set in a dystopian world where survivors must fight off zombie attacks. Different game modes change the dynamics of how players interact with each other. 

These are the three modes of play:

  • Fortnite: Creative where players (up to a group of four) play against the game. 
  • Fortnite: Battle Royal where players play against each other with the option to form groups.
  • Fortnite: Save the World where players are given complete freedom. 

Given the statistics, it isn’t surprising that Twitch live streamers continue to play the game. Newcomers can use SubscriberZ to get ahead of older, more experienced competitors. 

Legal Battle With Apple Inc.

Founder Tim Sweeney estimates that an 8% revenue cut should be enough for digital distribution platforms such as Apple’s iOS App Store, and Google Play. Currently, every purchase made through the iOS App Store pays 30% to Apple Inc. as a revenue cut. In mid-2020, Epic Games started offering in-app purchases in their popular game Fortnite to bypass this revenue cut, and Apple saw this as a breach of their contract. Subsequently, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store.

A lawsuit against Apple inc. was filed last August by Epic Games. Another was filed against Google, but fewer details are known of their case. Epic Games named its founder and CEO Tim Sweeney as a witness and mentioned a few others from within the company. They claim to be fighting against the anti-competitive behavior that Apple is showing by taking a larger cut.

Response

Following the ban of Fortnite from iOS, many iPhone owners who already owned the game auctioned their smartphones, often for large sums of money. Many large corporations were supportive of Epic Games, and some joined them hoping to reach a better solution for app developers to distribute their products on major platforms. 

It seems that Apple is listening, as it declared that app developers that meet certain requirements pay a reduced cut of 15%, so long as they apply for it. That still may not be fair in Tim Sweeney’s opinion, but it’s a start. 

Feature Image Credits: New York Post

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