In an effort to get around Apple’s and Google’s fees levied in their respective app stores, Epic Games today announced that a new direct payment option is available in Fortnite for iOS and Android, despite Apple’s stringent review guidelines for App Store submissions.
According to the announcement, any V-Bucks or real-money offers purchased in Fortnite on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac are now discounted twenty percent.
As an example, the same 1000 V-Bucks that Fortnite players can get through the App Store using Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism for $9.99 can be had for $7.99 via the direct payment option. In other words, you can save up to twenty percent by using this new option.
“When you choose to use Epic direct payments, you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you,” Epic noted.
This is a very exciting standoff: Fortnite’s owner directly challenging Apple’s rules about in-app payments. https://t.co/LfP4UrpUpU
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) August 13, 2020
Those who bough V-Bucks or purchased a real-money offer like Summer Legends in the last 30 days will be granted a V-Bucks bonus by August 17, which will be 20 percent of the total purchase amount during that time frame. The Epic Games team is also celebrating these permanent discounts by giving away the Shooting Starstaff Pickaxe to all active players.
I’ve found this bit a particularly nice dig at Apple and Google:
Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply. If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.
As you know, App Store subscriptions are subject to Apple’s 30 percent fee. However, Apple’s fee drops to fifteen percent after the first full year of subscription. Epic Games, however, appears to have violated Apple’s rule which prohibits apps from selling virtual goods without going through Apple’s In-App Purchase mechanism.