NEW YORK - Apple has dropped the hugely popular “Fortnite" game from its App Store after the game's developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses Apple's platform.
Apple takes a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases, which has long been a sore spot with developers.
“Fortnite" is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple's iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PC and Mac computers and Android phones.
Apple said the service violated its guidelines. Google did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services," Apple said in statement.
Apple added that Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade and benefited from its tools, testing and distribution. It said it was working with Epic to resolve the violations and return “Fortnite" to the app store.
Epic Games did not immediately return a request for comment. Epic's '"Fortnite" Twitter account said the company would debut a new short film called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite," a seeming parody of Apple's iconic “1984" commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. It has also filed a complaint against Apple in the U.S. District Court in Norther California for dropping “Fortnite."