As most people will now be aware, several days ago both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective app stores for both iOS and Android for breaking their terms of service.

The reason for removal? Epic Games introduced a new payment method for their mobile apps that allows players to purchase the in game V-bucks currency with their new "Epic Direct Payment" system, which is the same method used on both consoles and PC. This circumvents the normal in-app purchase systems present in both operating systems and means Epic can cut their 30% markup on mobile (the same cut that both Apple and Google take on in-app purchases) and deliver the same price to mobile gamers as they do to their console and PC counterparts.

After originally being booted from the App Store, Epic responded quickly by filing a lawsuit, as well as releasing a video called "Nineteen Eighty Fortnite" which emulates Apple's advertising campaign that they used when taking on IBM, which was once the dominant force in the computer world, but by this time making Apple the enemy.



Several hours later, Google also removed Fortnite from the Play Store, which prompted Epic to also file a lawsuit against Google.

So, why is this such an issue? Epic states that other apps that allow you to make purchases don't all go through the standard in-app purchase systems. Think amazon - their payment systems do not use IAP at all, and instead have their own payment system. Epic wants to use that themselves and cut out the middleman, passing the savings on to their playerbase.

I think this will come down to what is defined as an in-app purchase. In my opinion, an in-app purchase is a digital good or service for an app, and should not apply to physical goods. This would mean that Fortnite would need to abide by the in-app purchase rules and remove the Epic Direct Payment system. What do you think?