The Apple vs Epic case, which began with Fortnite and grew to be so much bigger than that, is apparently finished, and it had one major effect on the mobile gaming market … the mobile market in general, in fact. According to the outcome of the trial, Apple must now allow apps to link to payment options besides the one offered by Apple itself. It’s a small change with potentially huge consequences — funny to think it all started with Fortnite.
In case you haven’t been keeping up (and who could blame you, this thing really dragged), the case began when Epic rolled out a store on Fortnite mobile that was a workaround for the built-in App Store and Google Play Store. Since this was a violation of both Apple and Google’s TOSes, they both quickly removed Fortnite from their stores. Epic quickly sued Apple and Google over this, and the Epic vs Apple case took on greater significance.
The point of all of this, or so it appeared on Epic’s side at least, was to prove that Apple’s policy of only allowing their own homegrown payment apparatus on iPhones was anti-competitive. It wasn’t a philosophical point, either — Epic has long chafed against the fact that Apple claims 30% of all profits made via the App Store, and it would no doubt like to keep that money for itself. According to the ruling, the judge determined that, in spite of its aims, Epic was in violation of its agreement with Apple and must make restitution.
Judge Gonzales Rogers, who issued the ruling, didn’t really come down on the side of Epic or Apple, in the end. While she agreed that some of Apple’s practices were anti-competitive, she said that ultimately Apple didn’t violate antitrust laws. As for Fortnite, it’s likely it won’t come back to Apple devices anytime soon, as Epic is not pleased that it’s not being allowed to have its own payment method within the app.