Fortnite has been removed from Apple's App Store on Thursday after developer Epic Games reduced the price of V-Bucks by up to 20% on all platforms as a way to circumvent royalty charges of Apple's App Store and the Google Play store.
While the pay cut is straight forward for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and PC, the problem arises for iOS and Android. When checking out, players will need to use Epic Games direct payment option to circumvent the system.
The direct payment allows Epic Games to avoid paying a 30% royalty charge on all in-app purchases for Apple App Store and Google Play Store. And it seems Apple has responded.
In a statement made to Verge, Apple explained its recent decision, "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... We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store."
Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has spoken up against the royalty charges for years and may be forcing Apple's hand in the process. Apple has responded in kind.
As of now, only the Apple App Store has removed Fortnite from its store. The mobile game is still in the Google Play store.
UPDATE: 8/13 3: 47 p.m. ET
Epic Games has filed a legal complaint in the US District Court of California over Apple's decision to remove Fortnite from the Apple App Store. Based on the response time by both companies, it's clear Epic Games and Apple were prepared for either one to make a move.