Epic Games updated Fortnite to accept in-game purchases directly, effectively sidestepping Apple's commission. This resulted in Apple banning Fortnite from the App Store, and the two sides will duke it out in court. Well, maybe.
Apple's move is a savvy one in part because it gives Epic Games an out, so to speak. Epic Games is fighting an uphill battle, but could potentially save face by dropping its lawsuit and claiming that this reduced rate for smaller developers is what it was really after in the first place. A sort of win-win, if you will, except Epic Games will still be on the hook for 30 percent of revenue tied to Fortnite in the App Store, because it pulls in more than $1 million per year.
Full detail of the new program will be revealed in December, but in the meantime, Apple has provided a rundown of the essential bits...
- Existing developers who made up to $1 million in 2020 for all of their apps, as well as developers new to the App Store, can qualify for the program and the reduced commission.
- If a participating developer surpasses the $1 million threshold, the standard commission rate will apply for the remainder of the year.
- If a developer’s business falls below the $1 million threshold in a future calendar year, they can requalify for the 15 percent commission the year after.
Likewise, I'm curious to see if Google responds with a similar arrangement for its Play Store, which also collects a 30 percent royalty.