Banned from App Stores - What is Going on with Fortnite?

So, you've probably heard the words "Fortnite", "App Stores" and "controversial" all in the same sentence in this past week without really understanding what's going on. In all honesty, so have I, as I've never been a dedicated fan of the battle royale. However, the situation is a lot more serious than it seems as it may affect mobile gaming for years to come. Read on as I try to get a handle on the situation. 

Understanding the App Store 

First off, let's understand how an application store works, applying to both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Regardless if the game is free-to-play and has in-game purchases or costs a certain amount but has no in-game purchases, any transaction made through the game downloaded from the store, in particular, is partially accredited to the store. Like any other store, an application store purchases the product from producers/developers and resells it to the customer - a profit needs to be made somewhere. 

In the case of app stores, it's by taking roughly 20-30% of in-game transactions though this may vary depending on the contract between the store and developer. So, what did Epic Games do? 

Epic Games Tries to Be Sneaky

Out of the blue, on August 13th, Epic Games updated the options to purchase V-bucks or whatnot at a lower price of 20% less. That's great right? Sure, on PC and console this didn't make any difference as the rules aren't comparable to mobile devices here. 

On mobile devices, due to the policies imposed by Apple and Google, allowing players to avoid processing transactions through the stores and instead to directly pay Epic Games is unacceptable. Supposedly, they made the decision without consulting either store. Indeed, such a shady move violated both application store guidelines. 

And no, before typing #FreeFortnite on Twitter, you need to understand that Apple and Google are in the right here. This move by Epic Games looks incredibly greedy to me. 

Just imagine - you own a store and sell a product given to you and you take a small cut to make some profit according to a signed contract.

Now, imagine if the producer suddenly allows customers to pay him/her directly to bypass your profit while understanding that were if not for you, the product wouldn't even be available for purchase.

On all that, it's your most popular product too - so just think of all the profit you're losing. 

On that last point - we all know how popular Fortnite is. By trying to bypass Apple and Google here, both companies would probably lose quite a bit of money. For these reasons, that's why Fortnite is not available on either store at the moment. 

All-in-all, in my opinion, I stand by Apple and Google here. The move from Epic is an explicit money-grab - every other mobile game developer abides by these policies, so why should Epic Games be an exception? 

Epic Games Sues Apple and Google - Apple Shutting Down Unreal Engine 

Then, in retaliation to the removal from stores, Epic Games whipped out a lawsuit against Apple to try and: 

"end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.

A similar lawsuit was made against Google. 

Here's Epic Games' angle to their lawsuit, as explained in the Mega Drop FAQ: 

"Epic’s position is that all mobile developers and consumers have the right to choose alternate payment providers that charge less, as is the norm on all other general-purpose computing platforms, including Web, Windows, and Mac.

We expect to see a general change in smartphone practices industry-wide for all developers that brings greater value and freedom of choice to consumers. We expect Apple to unblock Fortnite.

Before proceeding, I'd like to credit Gamespot's article as a great source for this topic and the quotes. 

Anyways, all I'd like to ask Epic Games is - how are Apple and Google meant to make a profit then? Hosting an application store doesn't sound like a free ordeal. 

Of course, I'm not 100% on the side of Apple and Google here. As a journalist, I've gotta stay open-minded. Epic Games definitely has a point in wanting more freedom of payment although completely trying to bypass policies definitely isn't the way to go here. Epic Games' stance on open gaming, allowing cloud gaming and cross-platform ecosystems is definitely one every gamer should support. 

Also, making enemies of both Apple and Google is definitely not the way to go. However, Epic Games has shown resilience against others such as Microsoft and Valve for their own policies. 

Apple, however, are taking it one step further. In response, the company has stated that they'll be removing "Unreal Engine" from Mac. As you can imagine, this will impact all developers trying to get on iOS devices and is not acceptable. All indie developers for Mac will be stopped dead in their tracks. Epic Games has thrown jabs moreso at Apple than Google, as shown in that parody video they made. 

As this situation escalates, one begins to realise that both parties have their own reasons to confront one another. 

Will Fortnite be Back on Mobile? 

Yes, it'll be back in my opinion. Soon enough, Epic Games will realise that by being removed from the store, at the end of the day, they're losing players and ultimately, money. Apple and Google have plenty of other games to support, which is quite the understatement and can easily stand their ground. 

Due to Fortnite's popularity, I'm certain that the parties involved will sort things out and resolve the situation back to normal. 

Both stances on the situations are respectable. The app stores' approach to exclusivity and fees does seem monopolistic while on the other hand, policies must be abided be and cannot simply be violated. I've tried to keep the argument as balanced as possible though at the end of the day, more details will come out over time and may shift the balance. 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Posted by Gabriel Sciberras on 19th August 2020, 09:54

I'm Gabriel - 19 year-old dental student attending university working as a part-time esports journalist. I've been doing this for 3 years now. Having worked with GMR Entertainment in the past, I've come on board to write some articles this summer :).

Comments

Our Social Media

Latest News

Content Writing for GMR Entertainment - An Experience

The following is a crash course and personal opinion behind the work of content writing.  Hi there! I'm Gabriel Sciberras and I've written over 600 articles for GMR Entertainment in total and this will actually be my last article this summer. Accordingly, the following is an opportunity for me to discuss the position, educate anybody curious and possibly persuade anybody to experiment. Here's my experience working with GMR Entertainment.  My History with GMR Entertainment  It all started back in 2016, as I turned 16 and geared up for my Chemistry O'level exam. Bored out of my mind, scrolling through Facebook aimlessly landed me onto an advert by GMR Entertainment stating 'content writer wanted'. At the age of 16, obsessed with gaming and tech paid with a knack for writing, I took my chance and dived into the position with no prior experience whatsoever. And no, I wasn't getting paid - I applied for a voluntary position and did so happily, churning out 3 articles a day at times to sum up almost 250 unpaid articles.      Working voluntarily was never an issue for me. That's because the team over at GMR Entertainment provided me with a tonne of foundation into the world of online writing. While I also had to put in some working learning the ins and outs of HTML, I was taught how to upload photos, create better titles, understand different types of articles and SEO. And not just through emails either. At times, I would venture up to the Lounge in Msida where founder, Kersten Chircop, walked me through anything he thought I could work on.  As a young teenager, it was incredible. Having a remote job of this type was sort of a dream come true. All of these skills I just mentioned didn't develop overnight, but took months of work and getting used to it all. GMR Entertainment began trusting me with new types of content which opened my horizons. Through hardware reviews, I was given the opportunity to truly embrace my analytical opinion and work with the awesome Andre Mizzi,  while player interviews pushed me to innovate with questions and to interact with personalities in the esports industry.   Beyond this, I was always invited to local LAN events and Christmas company events which I've always heavily appreciated. With enough time, after 3 months of hard work and learning from my half and great feedback and direction from GMR Entertainment, I could confidently consider myself an 'esports, gaming and technology journalist.' GMR Entertainment offered me a reasonable pay which I happily accepted and work kept flowing. Sponsored articles, local discussions, research into esports and more.  To top it all off, communication was always great. Working with Kersten and Andre never offered much resistance and was always an open and casual, yet respectful affair. They'd offer ideas, I'd offer ideas and days would go smoothly. In addition, whenever I needed time off to focus on my exams, as I am quite the nerd, I was always given more than enough time to focus.  Just like that, after a year of work or so, job opportunities flew my way and GMR Entertainment allowed me to venture, always leaving their door open for me. Know, a couple years later, I've come on board for the summer as I can cope with the extra work besides the school year and my other current writing positions.  What does it take to become an esports/gaming/technology journalist?  In all honesty, it takes a few simple things. Here's a shortlist of qualities you'd need:  Time management: probably more important than the quality of writing - sticking to deadlines to make time relevant content is essential  Language: a mix of flexibility and creativity helps out here together with SEO based writing  Ability to be analytical and discursive - creating your own ideas and spinning a web is essential for longer pieces of work  An ability to learn quickly: whatever you're writing about, you need to make sure you understand it well enough to explain it to readers What makes a great writer? CREATIVITY and nothing else. Since my first job at GMR Entertainment, I've hopped around a few times and I've always noted this in other writers even with my current job. In this type of job, you'll find a tonne of people who all they do is simply copy other article ideas from bigger sites such as Dot Esports and never really innovate ever as they comfortably paraphrase away. Yes, sometimes this is necessary for the more basic articles but avoid it when possible.  By being creative you'll have more fun writing, it'll be more challenging and you're more likely to create unique and interesting pieces of work. That's my largest piece of advice - be creative and make creative opinions.  Interested in Writing with GMR Entertainment? So that's it, that's my experience and those are my tips for anybody wondering what it takes. Personally, as a student who lives all the way in Zabbar, a remote job makes me smile when I could be on the bus instead. Whenever I discuss my job with others, I always get a 'hey, that's pretty cool' type of reaction.  If you're interested in trying it out, why not send an email to GMR Entertainment or maybe through their Facebook page. Perhaps you could start right away with some test articles? Communicate only if you're really passionate for writing and putting your ideas out there - don't do this thinking about money from the get-go - that's not the right attitude to have and it won't get you far. Focus on producing good content and the rest will follow.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

RTX 3090 - 8K Gaming on the Table?

Indeed, the talk of the town is the RTX 3080 - it's incredible value for the price, massive performance increase and general utility is simply superb. However, Nvidia wasn't done there as they announced two other products in the line. Currently, the community is discussing the RTX 3080's older brother, the RTX 3090. Supposedly, 8K Gaming is now a possibility though it does come at a considerable price.  If you're anything like me, then you're YouTube feed was also flooded with content creators trying the graphics card out. The BFGPU has rocked the internet due to its phenomenal size, dwarfing formerly 'large' cards such as the 2080Ti from a generation ago. The pure size of the card is dropping jaws for multiple reasons, but also due to its drawbacks.  Let's take a quick look at the specifications:  Built on an 8nm architecture 10496 cores 24GB of GDDR6X Memory  1695 MHz Boost Clock Speed It's those 24GB of GDDR6X that has made 8K Gaming possible. The only drawback however, is the sheer price of the graphics card. Once you've gone passed the $1,500 barrier or so, you'll also have to deck out your PC with the best components on the market too - a top-end CPU to make the most of the GPU and a thick power supply to run the beast. All of this will have to fit in a reasonably sized and very well ventilated case.  Then, once paired with an 8K display, it's official that 8K gaming is now possible. Games such as Doom Eternal and others have been showcased and for the most part, no video or photo can really do the experience any justice.  Let's just take a moment to appreciate Nvidia here. Weeks ago, AMD was breathing down their throat following their own incredible new lineup of products and the pressure was on. As the community wondered where Nvidia was, doubt in the community grew. And now, just like that, Nvidia has once again earned everyone's praise and reminded the world who's on top. Nobody's been talking much about AMD since.  Then again, it's unfortunate that for those interested to buy one, you'll have to wait for it to become available.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! If you're interested in purchasing an RTX 3090, we'll hopefully have some stock at the Gamers Lounge in the coming weeks. 

Call of Duty Warzone Season 6 - Going Under

Once again, Call of Duty Warzone has the community's attention with their latest season of content. Last time, Infinity Ward took the world's most popular battle royale shooter by surprise with an overground train, adding new mechanics to Verdansk. Now, Season 6 looks to reintroduce more trains thanks to an underground network. Here's the scoop.  First off, we'll start by spelling out the unfortunate - for this Season you'll have to surrender 20GB of further storage. So after you manage to download, there's a tonne to jump into here. Check out the trailer below:  In terms of content, there are new operators, weapons and modes too. Notably, the Haunting of Verdansk looks to rock the royale from October 20-November 3rd. Fast travelling across the map will be incredible through the train stations, and I can already see the 400 IQ plays making use of it.  Accompanying the content is a patch note. If you're anything like me, you're terrified of going indoors thanks to the Origin 12 striking fear into the community. Luckily, Infinity Ward have made some decent changes here, including a nerf to C4:  C4 - additional delay for quick detonation and now a reduction in throw velocity too by 30% Origin 12 - reduced close damage in general while slugs have been strengthened For PC players, NVIDIA Reflex has been implemented to reduce latency Those are the main highlights - for the entire scoop, feel free to read the patch notes here. Call of Duty Warzone is doing incredibly well to hand on to the hype behind it through these in-game updates, each one changing how the game is played in a massive way. I don't expect any other battle royale to compete that much with the title until the end of 2020 for sure.  Let us know your thoughts on the changes in the comments section below!

Amazon Luna - Another Cloud Gaming Service

In the videogame industry, the summer of 2020 has offered multiple trends - local and online party games such as Fall Guys and Among Us, Call of Duty Warzone and also, the gaming industry's fixation on cloud gaming. Here on the site, we've covered the ongoing narrative and comparisons between Google Stadia, Project xCloud from Microsoft, Playstation Now and of course, Nvidia GeForce Now. It looks like Amazon wishes to join the race.  Indeed, Amazon wishes to dive into the very small ball pit which is already quite crowded with their upcoming product of Amazon Luna. So, what's so special about this cloud gaming experience and how does it compare to the other ones which look to hit or are already on the market?  Supposedly, the service will offer 'all-you-can-play' access to games via a channel system. In this manner, users may subscribe to certain channels which from what we can tell, will offer a certain quality of games. Only two channels have been confirmed so far, namely Luna Plus, which will house first-party games from Amazon and other services and another rumoured for Ubisoft games.  With pricing starting at $5.99 a month, with an optional $49.99 Luna Controller for Luna early access users only at the time being. The cloud gaming service will be available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, iPhone and iPad. Note that Amazon here looks to do well with the Apple ecosystem, unlike others. With reference to the game library, it's confirmed that 50 games will be on Luna Plus and Ubisoft channels.  An advantage Amazon has is running everything on Windows servers with Nvidia GPUs, so developers don't have to design games specifically for the service - a downfall behind the failure of Google Stadia.  So will it do well? Honestly, I've got no idea. This whole market of cloud gaming is so primitive at the moment, it's confusing to me. While this may be the future, it's definitely not the present.  Let us know what you think of this industry craze behind cloud gaming in the comments section below! Do any of the products stand out from the other?

Among Us - A Tiny Game Exploding After 2 Years

Back in 2018, the American game studio of InnerSloth eagerly released their new game of 'Among Us' to the world. Available on Android, iOS and Windows, their exciting new implication of a classic idea was bound to succeed but at first, it simply didn't. No, for some reason, they'd have to wait for roughly two years and a pandemic before the multiplayer game would suddenly sky rocket in popularity! I know, it's crazy sometimes how the videogame industry works. In this article, we'll be covering all thing Among Us. What is Among Us? If you haven't realized, ever since August 2020 when multiple popular content creators suddenly began playing it, Among Us is now on most phones and for good reasons. Let's first dive into what it is, as a game. Among Us is a multiplayer game for up to 10 players where 1-3 players are randomly picked to be 'Imposters' and the others 'Crewmates' all aboard a ship/vessel of some kind. Depending on your role, there are different objectives: Crewmates: given tasks to take care of across the map. Winning takes place by finishing all the tasks or eliminating the Imposter through voting  Imposter: fake list of tasks, they're given the ability to slay Crewmates, travel through vents and to sabotage the map too. Winning happens by eliminating enough Crewmates or successfully sabotaging ship.  Deduction is the name of the game here. You've got to be careful who to trust and know how to act when it's time to vote after finding a body or calling an emergency meeting.  And that's basically it, a virtual form of the party game Mafia.  An Explosion in Player Count  Back in 2018, figures show that after release Among Us had an average player count of 30 to 50 players concurrently! Accordingly, the development team admitted that due to bad marketing, they were that close to giving up entirely. However, despite the small player base, more work and maps were put into the game.  With this work, the game just snowballed to the point that 20 million downloads rocked August, with 40 million hitting September and 400,000 concurrent players on Steam. It's great to see such a long-term investment pay off for the small studio.  Why is it so popular? It's why Mafia is so fun at parties - you force people into discussions, arguments and accusations that you could never make in any other environments. With a group of friends or family, such a game is a tonne of fun, giggles, frustration and yelling at one another. Otherwise, even playing online is a lot of fun as you test your ability to be both sneaky and influential on the thoughts of others.  Just like Fall Guys a month ago, Among Us is a new way in which people are connecting and giggling through these tough times. From my experience, it's a game for the whole family and a party game which evolves in complexity due to the elite strategies possible. There's nothing more exciting than being an Imposter in Among Us.  The Future of Among Us - Sequel and Console Port?  Due to the popularity, the developers have had to cancel all thought behind a sequel. Why? Although they wished to create a fresh version with a more modern engine, they decided to abandon the idea and instead focus on the original due to the popularity behind it. Accordingly, new features and maps will be rolling out for it.  Also, console ports for PS4 and Xbox have been considered, but issues are being encountered for communication systems amongst other issues.  Otherwise, I genuinely hope the game keeps growing. It's a superb party game with a dedicated studio behind it that suffered for two years.  Let us know your thoughts in the comment section! What do you think about Among Us?   

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies - hide message