Today, the game publisher Epic lowered the price of all purchases in the app for smash hit Fortnite, loses the fees for V-Bucks in the game currency by 20%. The drop applies to all platforms, PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch. This also applies to the iPhone and Android version of the game … but only if you use the new option to pay Epic directly.
Those who buy Fortnite V-Bucks with the standard payment system App Store and Play Store still pay the old price. Epic announced the price drop on its blog and pointed out under no uncertain terms that Apple and Google̵7;s standard 30% revenue cut is to blame for the extra costs when using the established systems. (The blog post is also written so that the technology and gaming press would write this exact article, I guess.) “If Apple or Google reduce their payment fees in the future, Epic will go with the savings for you,” says the blog post.
Epic has long had a chip on its shoulder over revenue sharing in mobile apps. Although Fortnite Released for iOS without much hassle, Epic ran on Android for more than a year, hosted its own APK file and asked gamers to download it as an old-fashioned PC game. Eventually, Epic gave in and released the game in the Play Store as well, realizing that some of the money is better than none of the money.
Epic dares Apple and Google to do it, to know that Fortnite is the most played game on the planet right now. Trying to frame this as “Apple / Google banned my favorite game because it lowered prices” is pretty knowledgeable when it comes to marketing, but Epic plays chicken with two of the world’s largest technology companies. Epic hopes they will make an exception and make a better split for Fortnite than for all other apps and games. But it seems equally likely that Apple and Google will set an example Fortnite as a warning to other publishers not to follow in Epic’s footsteps.
It is also a bit unclear. In addition to Epic still certainly paying fees for these reduced prices on Xbox, PS4 and Switch, Epic is known for its own game store on the PC, which allows third parties to sell on its platform just like the App Store and Play Store. Epic boasts that the split is much lower than competitors like Steam, but it’s a competitive move for a younger platform, and Epic is still very responsible.
I can imagine that if, for example, fellow huge game publisher 2K demanded that it be allowed to violate the terms of service in the Epic Store and pay only half of its current sales fee for each game, Epic would not exactly stumble upon itself to force.
Source: Epic via The Verge