Update [1:10 p.m. PT] Epic has responded by filing legal suit against Apple. Drawing comparisons to Apple's famous 1984 commercial, Epic is taking legal action against what it characterizes as "unreasonable restraints" on iOS.
Epic has also announced a new short in its Party Royale mode, dubbed "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite." From the visual alone, it seems to be invoking the same imagery of Apple's 1984 commercial.
our original story follows:
Two tech giants have been tussling over monetization, and it came to a head today. Following an update to Fortnite's payment options on mobile platforms, Apple has removed the popular battle royale from the App Store.
An update issued by Epic this morning discounted V-Bucks, Fortnite's purchasable in-game cash, across the board for all platforms. Alongside this, Epic introduced a new mobile payment method which allowed direct payment to the company, rather than through Apple or Google, skirting the cut either storefront would receive.
In a FAQ about the change, Epic characterized these 30% fees as "exorbitant." It also states that if Apple and Google chose to lower their fees on payments, Epic would "pass those savings along to players," but Apple has already struck back.
"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. 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."
"Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including it's [sic] tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we're glad they've built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store."
Epic has previously tussled with Google over putting Fortnite on the Play Store, but now it seems that the worldwide craze is coming to blows with both Google and Apple. We've reached out to Epic for comment on Apple's statement.