Beginning today, Epic Games is discounting Fortnite V-bucks and other cash purchases if players buy them through PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac. The discounts are available on mobile if players use the new “Epic direct payment” option instead of the App Store or Google Play. Thanks to this Fortnite “mega drop,” players will save up to 20 percent, and Epic will avoid having to pay the 30 percent fees that Apple and Google charge.
This seems to be part of Epic’s ongoing gripe over Apple and Google. The company has consistently complained about Apple and Google taking a cut of mobile payments. It even delayed bringing Fortnite to the Play Store app to avoid paying those fees.
These permanent discounts are a bold move. They essentially incentivize avoiding Apple and Google’s in-app payment methods. On mobile, players will see the App Store or Google Play payment option next to the Epic direct payment option. The side-by-side comparison makes it pretty clear how you’ll be ripped off if you buy through Apple or Google. Epic says it's simply passing on the savings it sees by not paying the Apple-Google fees to players.
Epic isn’t the only company to push back against Apple and Google’s fees for in-app purchases. Spotify, Basecamp and Telegram have complained, too. The US federal antitrust probe is taking a close look at Apple’s App Store policies, and Apple and the App Store are facing an antitrust investigation in the EU.