Epic Games Pays Apple $6 Million as Ordered by Court
Epic Games today paid Apple $6,000,000 in royalties, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said on Twitter. As part of the ruling in the ongoing Epic v. Apple legal battle, Epic was last week ordered by the court to pay 30 percent of the revenue that it collected from the Fortnite app using its illicit direct payment option.
Back at the start of the dispute between Epic and Apple, Epic added a direct purchase option to the Fortnite app, skirting Apple's in-app purchase rules. This violation of Apple's App Store guidelines led Apple to pull Fortnite from the App Store, and directly after that, Epic filed its pre-planned lawsuit.
Though Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store shortly after Epic violated the in-app purchase rules, Epic Games was still able to collect payment from customers that had already installed the app and were actively using it. During the time period that the app was available prior to a Fortnite update that made it unusable, Fortnite made $12,167,719.
Epic Games was forced to pay 30 percent of the $12 million total that was collected between August 2020 and October 2020, plus 30 percent of revenue collected from November 1, 2020 through the date of the judgment, in addition to interest, which is where the $6 million fee comes from.
In last week's ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers determined that Apple did not have a mobile gaming monopoly, and the lawsuit largely went in Apple's favor. Apple has been ordered to allow developers to add "buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms," which will let developers provide payment options other than in-app purchase in their apps.
Apple lawyers called the verdict a "resounding victory" that validates the App Store business model, but Epic Games was unhappy with the outcome. In a tweet, Sweeney said that the ruling wasn't a "win for developers or for consumers" and that Epic would continue to "fight for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores for a billion consumers."
He also said that Fortnite will not be returning to the App Store in the near future. "Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers," he wrote.
Over the weekend, Epic Games filed an appeal against the ruling, so the dispute between the two companies is far from over. Apple has yet to decide whether or not it wants to appeal portions of the ruling.