NEW YORK: Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google removed popular video game “Fortnite” from their app stores on Thursday for violating the in-app payment guidelines, prompting developer Epic Games to file federal anti-trust lawsuits challenging their rules.
Apple and Google cited a direct payment feature rolled out on the Fortnite app earlier in the day as the violation.
Epic sued in US court seeking no money from Apple or Google, but rather injunctions that would end many of the companies’ practices related to their app stores.
“Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear,” Epic said in its lawsuit filed in California.
Epic also attacked Apple on social media, launching a campaign with the hashtag #FreeFortnite, urging players to seek refunds from Apple if they lose access to the game, and creating a parody of Apple’s famous “1984” television ad.
In the parody, which quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of views, a female Fortnite fighter hurls a unicorn-shaped club to smash a screen on which an Apple-headed character speaks of “the anniversary of the platform unification directives”.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2020