The long legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has finally come to an end. The legal battle was over the way in-game purchases worked for apps within Apple's App Store.
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Apple takes 30% off the top of any purchase made on the App Store and 30% on any sales of game-related items.
Apple enforced this by making sure that in-game purchases were connected to the App Store, rather than the game having its own payment option. For example, if you wanted to purchase a character skin in the mobile version of Fortnite, you would need to make the purchase through the store's connected payment system.
Epic decided to circumvent this by placing a payment method within the mobile version of Fortnite that was disconnected from the App Store, allowing them to earn 100% of the revenue from in-game item sales. Apple retaliated by removing Fortnite from the App Store entirely.
Epic considered this to be extremely monopolistic behavior considering how much Apple dominates the phone and mobile application market. The judge agreed that, while not necessarily monopolistic, it was anti-competitive behavior.
Apple was then blocked from forcing developers to use the App Stores payment system, allowing developers to use any payment system they wish going forward.
But this could have broader implications beyond Epic earning 100% of Fortnite skin purchases. Epic Games is currently involved with a similar lawsuit with Google who has control over most of the android software and app market. Google also charges the same commission that Apple does, and now that there is a legal precedent, the ruling for this case is likely to be similar.
Should both Apple and Google be restricted from enforcing how payments work in apps on either of the company's stores, it would allow developers to add any form of call-to-action or payment system within their apps that they want.
Where previously payments on apps had to be done with fiat currency as they needed to go through Apple's system, developers could now choose to use alternatives like cryptocurrency.
Companies like Newegg, Overstock, Sotheby's, Starbucks and more all accept cryptocurrency and have applications on these stores. This change may allow them to begin accepting crypto directly within their mobile applications. Additionally, smaller developers will now have the freedom of choice to take direct payments within their application of dollars, crypto or otherwise.
This freedom of choice could help to bolster cryptocurrency adoption and even help to scale payment systems like Bitcoin's lightning network.
This story is developing.