#Freefortnite is bullshit. That’s the hashtag Epic is using to try and claim they’re the victims of Apple’s 30% cut for using the App Store. They’re also saying they’re victims of Google’s 30% rules.

But Epic has had apps in the App Store for 10 years. They knew and signed onto the rules, and were okay with them for ages.

Why now? Two reasons:

  1. Apple was recently embarrassed by Hey.com’s attempt to comply with the App Store rules and still was removed until they modified their app to allow free burner email accounts.
  2. Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are under the spotlight in Congress for anti-trust violations.

What got them banned?

They added a payment option for in-app purchases that allowed users to buy directly from Epic in-app, and showed that it was a 20% discount compared to the prices they charge for processing through the user’s App Store account.

That option was added without submitting an app update for code review by App Store reviewers. It was a Trojan horse enabled after the app had been approved (something that is never supposed to happen. Updates to apps are supposed to be reviewed, always.)

How do we know that Epic planned this?

They had a lawsuit and video ready to go when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store.

This is a parody of Apple’s own “1984” advertisement that was Apple protesting against the monopoly of IBM. Here’s a comparison

At this time, Fortnite is still available on the Samsung Galaxy Store.

What about these lawsuits?

Epic had lawsuits ready to go, because they predicted that Apple would pull the app from the App Store. The lawsuits play up the drama, essentially saying, “if you live long enough, you become what you hate” – Apple-the-pirate-ship is now the establishment, and has lost its commitment to being cool.

Why is Epic doing this?

Epic makes it plain in their lawsuit. It isn’t that they’re offended by paying Apple and Google 30%, it’s that they’re offended they aren’t the ones making the percentage.

Epic wants to be the Steam of mobile gaming. They want to collect the percentage from every other app.

“but for Apple’s illegal restraints, Epic would provide a competing App Store on iOS devices…” so that Epic can get paid their percentage. Got it.

How much does Epic’s store collect?

12%. That’s their pitch: pay Epic 12% instead of paying Apple or Google 30%.

Who is to blame?

It’s not hard to see Epic as victims if you think Apple and Google just removed them out of the blue – but if you watch what happened here, you see them as the hypocrites they are. They aren’t offended that someone’s getting paid, they just want it to be them.

They don’t want to pay Apple and Google rent, they want to collect rent from everyone else. #FreeFortnite is BS. But Epic are very good with PR, and have lots of fans who won’t consider who started this (hint: Epic started it.)

You could say that Apple walked right into this – but they had very few choices: negotiate a special deal for Epic (bad, they just got done telling Congress that the rules are the rules for all app developers), ignore it (same problem), or respond like this, and face the wrath of uninformed gamers who just want to play and don’t understand why mom and dad are fighting.

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