Apple users rejoice!
Last year, Fortnite Mobile disappeared from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store due to a disagreement on taxation. It’s a sound move from the stores’ business standpoint, but players and Epic Games didn’t see it that way. For players, they wouldn’t be able to update or redownload the game. For the publisher, they would have to raise the prices of V-bucks which they refuse to do. They did send a lawsuit to both companies, though. At any rate, it may be coming back to iOS, along with a possible promise of Fortnite accounts with free V-bucks.
Details for the Removal
Google and Apple ask for a percentage (about 30%) of the revenue an app makes from microtransactions. That means, when players buy currency, skin, items, etc from an app, the store takes about 30% of what the app earns.
To get around this tax, Epic decided on a ‘direct payment’ method. The process doesn’t have to go through the store and the player pays Epic Games directly. That way, players don’t have to use the store’s method of payment, while avoiding the 30% cut. Of course, the companies didn’t like it one bit.
Fortnite, owing to its meteoric rise to popularity and maintaining it, would be a good source of revenue. If Fortnite followed the rules, it would’ve created a gushing torrent of money coming into the giant companies’ coffers. However, Epic Games didn’t follow their plans, and now there are lawsuits for both companies.
The Grand Return
While Android users can still get the app through alternative stores and the Fortnite website, Apple users were stuck for a long time. Sure, they can still play the game if they’ve downloaded it beforehand. However, they couldn’t update and keep up with all the new seasons of the game.
Epic would want to give their game the widest exposure, but Apple is making it hard. Though it’s not quite back yet, you can expect it to come back. Without a fix for this, Epic will be alienating about half of the mobile players. They can just move to a console or PC, but they’ll lose the portability of mobile.
Now, the lawsuit is going to bear fruit in a few days (or may have already passed, depending on when you read this article). Nobody knows yet whether it will signal the return of the app, or be another obstacle for its return. The one thing you can count on is that Epic does want Apple players to have access to the game.
What We Can Look Forward To
If it does end up returning, we can expect some freebies to be given out. The number one freebie everybody wants would be some V-bucks to line their virtual wallet. That lets them buy whatever skin for weapons or characters on the store. It can also be used to buy some emotes as well.
Another thing we can expect is new (maybe) exclusive skins. Some speculate that the apple-headed tycoon from the 1980-Fortnite trailer could be a possible skin celebrating the return of the app. It’s a little on the nose though, considering what just happened, but then again it could be a sign of a truce.
Apple has been pushing for Fortnite to produce some themed skins for them. Since we’re not seeing those in-game, it would be safe to say they were refused. Who knows, though? Yet, there probably will be a skin to commemorate the return somehow.
All Epic Games want to stop is the monopoly of these tech giants in the app distribution market. Apple devices have proprietary characteristics. That means their apps and even physical accessories are only compatible with other Apple devices.
Take for example their chargers and the Apple App Store. You can’t use an iPhone charger to charge, say, a Samsung Device. However, as long as the sockets match, you can use a Samsung charger to plug in another brand phone. As for the store, that’s the only source of apps for Apple devices. There’s no alternative to it.
As for Google, there are alternate stores for Android apps. Samsung already has its store for their devices, for example. Other phone brands also have their stores. Even with these alternatives, however, the Google Play Store is still the biggest distributor of Android Apps. It’s perhaps familiarity or convenience that pushes users to the store.
Anyway, Fortnite Mobile will come back to Apple devices in some way or form. Epic is not going to miss out on half of their mobile players stuck in the past. Whatever happens to the lawsuit, that’s something you can count on. They do want more Fortnite accounts with V-bucks, as that’s the way they profit from the game.
Continue playing and enjoying Fortnite, whether console, PC, or mobile!