Apple's App Store anti-steering rules are gone, but the replacement isn't much better

Posted:
in iOS edited January 16

Third-party app developers now have a method to push users to external purchase options, but with enough caveats that the in-app option may be preferable.

A blue gradient background with a white Apple App Store logo in the center, inside a rounded square icon.
Apple App Store icon



Apple's case against Epic has finally concluded since the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from either company. That means Apple must comply with the one ruling it lost against Epic -- to remove anti-steering guidelines.

According to two filings Apple made with the United States District Court, obtained by AppleInsider and embedded below, Apple will allow developers to point out external purchase options for in-app goods or services. However, there are many stipulations to this practice.

There are two guidelines the Epic ruling is overturning. Guideline 3.1.1 prevented apps from directing customers to alternative purchase mechanisms outside of the app. Guideline 3.1.3 prevented developers from communicating with users outside the app with contact information obtained within the app.

No more anti-steering



Starting January 16, developers can apply for an entitlement to provide a link within their app to a website the developer owns or is responsible for. The entitlement can only be used for iOS or iPadOS apps in the United States App Store.

Link Entitlement allows developers to steer customers to alternative options via app buttons or links with calls to action. Getting the entitlement requires direct approval after an application process, and any third-party payments made for in-app content must be made with a Level 1 PCI-compliant source -- which may eliminate cryptocurrency as a payment method.

An iPhone displaying a purchase confirmation for 'Structured Pro (Yearly)' at $9.99 per year with an option to confirm with the side button.
Developers can't interrupt this purchase flow to offer external options



Developers must prove goods purchased via the external app link are for in-app use. They also must provide methods for disputing unauthorized transactions, managing subscriptions, and requesting refunds.

Apps participating in the Apple Video Partner Program or the News Partner Program are not eligible for Link Entitlement. Abuse of the entitlement or spamming users could lead to being kicked from the Developer Program and removal from the App Store.

Link Entitlement doesn't mean no more IAP



Developers hoping to avoid Apple's 30%/15% commission by removing in-app purchase (IAP) options altogether will be disappointed. In order to use the Link Entitlement, IAP must remain within the app.

Also, developers cannot discourage users from using IAP. The call to action can mention that customers can save money by going to an external payment option.

The external link can only appear once within the entire app, but not as a pop-up or modal window. That can be during onboarding, sign-in, or on a special order screen.

Silhouetted figures watch a large screen displaying a stylized, digital Apple-shaped face with sunglasses, amidst binary code and technological interfaces, suggesting a scene from '1984'
Epic wanted to avoid IAP altogether, which still isn't an option



The external link cannot appear as a part of the IAP flow. This means the developer can't initiate an IAP when a user clicks on a token or in-app item and then show the link as an alternative to the IAP.

When offering the external link, developers must also include a "system disclosure" sheet. This is basically a scare sheet warning users that they are leaving the app, opening an external browser, and no longer transacting via their Apple account.

External links cannot contain redirects, cannot open in an in-app web view, and can't contain tracking parameters. The link must open to the device's default browser.

The App Store information page cannot contain information about external purchases or reference the external website.

The website must not mimic Apple's IAP system with a similar UI or dialog. Apple's guidelines for external purchases are meant to minimize fraud, scams, and user confusion.

Apple still gets its commission on external purchases



Apple's often criticized 30% or 15% take from developers isn't going anywhere. For anyone using the Link Entitlement, those percentages drop, but not by much.

A colorful illustration of diverse, stylized people engaging with various digital devices like smartphones and laptops, depicting modern connectivity and technology use.
Apple's Small Business Program reduces commission to 15%



If a user clicks the external link to the developer's website and purchases in-app content, a 27% commission is due to be paid within seven days. Developers eligible for the App Store Small Business Program will be charged a 12% commission, and second-year subscriptions will also be charged 12%.

Apple states that these commissions are still due because of the platform Apple provides with the App Store, tools, technologies, services, support, marketing, and customer base. The court's ruling in the Epic case was clear that collecting commissions was neither a violation nor an issue.

The seven-day provision exists as Apple sees it as sufficient to pay commissions on purchases. The company will be monitoring the system and make adjustments if issues arise.

Going around Apple is still possible



Note that outside communications are still allowed. Apple won't collect commissions on products sold outside of the Link Entitlement workflow.

If a customer purchases tokens, costumes, or other in-app products without navigating via the in-app link, no commission is owed. That means developers communicating over email or online advertising is still free game for commission-free sales.

Apple's limitations and continued collection of a commission will likely light new fires for litigation opportunities. At the least, with these provisions, we can say the Apple vs Epic saga has concluded -- for now.

Apple - Statement of Compliance by Mike Wuerthele on Scribd



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Apple's limitations and continued collection of a commission will likely light new fires for litigation opportunities
    • Hosting
    • Bandwidth
    • Technical support
    • Xcode and all the other developer tools
    • Apple-developed frameworks
    All of that for only $99 a year, a rate that hasn't changed since the App Store opened 16 years ago. If Apple is at some point forced to stop charging a commission, prepare for that to increase and potentially have itemized billing. Per-gigabyte bandwidth charges will add up very quickly for popular apps that are hundreds of megabytes or more, as well as monthly per-user licenses for Xcode.
    edited January 16 applebynaturebonobobdanoxstrongyjas99williamlondonphillyfanatic099secondkox2dewmeappleinsideruser
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Apple's statement of compliance reads more like the changes are a response to multiple lawsuits/rulings/settlements from inside and outside the United States. It's not really just the result of the SC turning down the appeal on anti-steering from the original Epic judgement. There was a separate developer lawsuit that was settled. There was the Tinder kerfluffle in the Netherlands. And there was an investigation from the Japanese Fair Trade Commission.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    HA, that’s exactly how I thought Apple would play it and damn right too.

    They’re not doing anything illegal but they’re also not going to make it easy for companies wanting a free ride.

    Well played Apple, well played.
    chasmdanoxstrongypulseimagesaderutterAfarstarjas999secondkox2appleinsideruserwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 19
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,342member
    Incidentally, Apple’s right to collect a commission for the use of the App Store (even if external payment processors were used) has been challenged in a number of countries worldwide, and Apple has won every single one of them.

    The stores in your local mall pay rent — they don’t get to use the facilities and convenience et al of the mall for free. Developers using the App Store won’t get to use it for free either, which is why we’ll likely never see Epic let back in (to either the Play Store or the App Store).
    TenApplesUpOnTopdanoxstrongypulseimagesjas999secondkox2glennhwatto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 5 of 19
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,304member
    Way to win the war Sweeney.  Hope all the legal fees and loss of business was worth it.
    strongypulseimagesAfarstarjas99williamlondonjgreg7289secondkox2watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Don’t know what’s more challenging for app developers a) writing code and developing apps or 2) understanding App Store guidelines?

    designrwilliamlondon9secondkox2nubuswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    The judge should have simply said anti-steering is not allowed for ELIGIBLE purchases. Meaning Spotify or Netflix can link to outside payments for their subscriptions, but normal IAP (like tokens in a game) still have to remain in-App.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    RespiteRespite Posts: 111member
    The judge should have simply said anti-steering is not allowed for ELIGIBLE purchases. Meaning Spotify or Netflix can link to outside payments for their subscriptions, but normal IAP (like tokens in a game) still have to remain in-App.
    What do you mean eligible?

    You've always been able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS, Apple don't prohibit that.
    edited January 17 tht
  • Reply 9 of 19
    I see this as heavy but fair??? If you’re using Apple’s platform to promote your business in anyway that will never be a free ride. Being on the App Store gives you access to a user base of 1 BILLION+ AND GROWING. Any dev who expects a way for this access to be free is kidding themselves. Pull out of the App Store if you want, but then you screw over the user base with having to re-apply to a new login, credentials, and being forced to provide full credit card/bank information. And tbh F having to do that. IAP as an option is FAIR. I don’t see most of this as unreasonable (outside of the high commission rates, but again, gigantic user base access). All the options are there now. If you want to stay tied to your Apple account, you have IAP. If you want better prices but be on a separate account and give your finance info, you have that option too. This is what we wanted right?? All options available??
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 19
    Not much better? 

    Better would be anti steering in full effect. 

    Being that apple was forced to do this, how is it somehow s bad thing that apple ensures they still get their fair platform fee, ensure third parties utiliize a responsible and secure transaction system, and that everything is accountable. 

    This is literally the only way to move forward in a fair and mostly safe way. Not as safe as using Apple’s system, but still better than letting anyone run roughshod over apple customers such as ourselves. 

    So… after all the burned relationships, money soent, and trust lost, Epic gets… a link - and now they have to conform to Apples standards in transactions and still pay their fair share. 

    So… congratulations? lol

    as for me, the link will just be litter on the screen, to be ignored. 
    edited January 17 danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,127member
    Apple's limitations and continued collection of a commission will likely light new fires for litigation opportunities
    • Hosting
    • Bandwidth
    • Technical support
    • Xcode and all the other developer tools
    • Apple-developed frameworks
    All of that for only $99 a year, a rate that hasn't changed since the App Store opened 16 years ago. If Apple is at some point forced to stop charging a commission, prepare for that to increase and potentially have itemized billing. Per-gigabyte bandwidth charges will add up very quickly for popular apps that are hundreds of megabytes or more, as well as monthly per-user licenses for Xcode.
    You conveniently overlooked the billions of dollars in ad revenue that Apple generates from developers who 16 years ago didn't need to spent anything on advertising.  Apple doesn't just collect 15 or 30%, they collect closer to 50% once advertising is factored. 

    And most of that laundry list of crap you mentioned is either of nominal cost or not worth the 15-50% a developer pays Apple:
    • Hosting and bandwidth - practically free these days - For an app earning $100k a year it certainly doesn't cost $15k to host a store.  Maybe $50 a month. 
    • Tech support - Seriously?  Apple's tech support is limited to 2 incidents a year, and is basically worthless.  Nothing is ever resolved.
    • Xcode - Another hot piece of garbage - bug riddled junk that could easily be replaced with a third-party tool if Apple allowed it.
    • Frameworks - this doesn't make much sense. If Apple didn't offer frameworks, no one would be able to develop any apps.  The existence of third-party apps benefits Apple just as much as developers. Would anyone buy an iPhone if there were no third-party apps?  Nope!  Would people be locked into Apple's ecosystem without third-paerty apps?  Again, no.  Would Apple be able to charge for advertising of third-party apps?  I think you get the idea.
    The fundamental problem is Apple offers very little (practically nothing) in exchange for the absurd commission. Also Apple treats developers with disdain as if they were the lowest scum on earth.  

    The only real benefit Apple offers is the existence of a large user base to market apps to. 

     



    avon b7williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,974member
    iOS_Guy80 said:
    Don’t know what’s more challenging for app developers a) writing code and developing apps or 2) understanding App Store guidelines?

    The App Store developer overhead is about to go up......
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 536member
    I love how Apple is doing this. The greedy Chinese owned Epic is getting what they deserve.

    most smart developers will stick with Apple payment . I personally will only engage apps that uses Apple
    payment 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 536member
    flydog said:
    Apple's limitations and continued collection of a commission will likely light new fires for litigation opportunities
    • Hosting
    • Bandwidth
    • Technical support
    • Xcode and all the other developer tools
    • Apple-developed frameworks
    All of that for only $99 a year, a rate that hasn't changed since the App Store opened 16 years ago. If Apple is at some point forced to stop charging a commission, prepare for that to increase and potentially have itemized billing. Per-gigabyte bandwidth charges will add up very quickly for popular apps that are hundreds of megabytes or more, as well as monthly per-user licenses for Xcode.
    You conveniently overlooked the billions of dollars in ad revenue that Apple generates from developers who 16 years ago didn't need to spent anything on advertising.  Apple doesn't just collect 15 or 30%, they collect closer to 50% once advertising is factored. 

    And most of that laundry list of crap you mentioned is either of nominal cost or not worth the 15-50% a developer pays Apple:
    • Hosting and bandwidth - practically free these days - For an app earning $100k a year it certainly doesn't cost $15k to host a store.  Maybe $50 a month. 
    • Tech support - Seriously?  Apple's tech support is limited to 2 incidents a year, and is basically worthless.  Nothing is ever resolved.
    • Xcode - Another hot piece of garbage - bug riddled junk that could easily be replaced with a third-party tool if Apple allowed it.
    • Frameworks - this doesn't make much sense. If Apple didn't offer frameworks, no one would be able to develop any apps.  The existence of third-party apps benefits Apple just as much as developers. Would anyone buy an iPhone if there were no third-party apps?  Nope!  Would people be locked into Apple's ecosystem without third-paerty apps?  Again, no.  Would Apple be able to charge for advertising of third-party apps?  I think you get the idea.
    The fundamental problem is Apple offers very little (practically nothing) in exchange for the absurd commission. Also Apple treats developers with disdain as if they were the lowest scum on earth.  

    The only real benefit Apple offers is the existence of a large user base to market apps to. 

     



    Who is forcing developers to use Apple App Store?

    They want access to Apple Customers. Who gives them that right ? God?

    if I walk into target and ask them for access to their customer list , what do you think they will say?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,974member
    Madbum said:
    flydog said:
    Apple's limitations and continued collection of a commission will likely light new fires for litigation opportunities
    • Hosting
    • Bandwidth
    • Technical support
    • Xcode and all the other developer tools
    • Apple-developed frameworks
    All of that for only $99 a year, a rate that hasn't changed since the App Store opened 16 years ago. If Apple is at some point forced to stop charging a commission, prepare for that to increase and potentially have itemized billing. Per-gigabyte bandwidth charges will add up very quickly for popular apps that are hundreds of megabytes or more, as well as monthly per-user licenses for Xcode.
    You conveniently overlooked the billions of dollars in ad revenue that Apple generates from developers who 16 years ago didn't need to spent anything on advertising.  Apple doesn't just collect 15 or 30%, they collect closer to 50% once advertising is factored. 

    And most of that laundry list of crap you mentioned is either of nominal cost or not worth the 15-50% a developer pays Apple:
    • Hosting and bandwidth - practically free these days - For an app earning $100k a year it certainly doesn't cost $15k to host a store.  Maybe $50 a month. 
    • Tech support - Seriously?  Apple's tech support is limited to 2 incidents a year, and is basically worthless.  Nothing is ever resolved.
    • Xcode - Another hot piece of garbage - bug riddled junk that could easily be replaced with a third-party tool if Apple allowed it.
    • Frameworks - this doesn't make much sense. If Apple didn't offer frameworks, no one would be able to develop any apps.  The existence of third-party apps benefits Apple just as much as developers. Would anyone buy an iPhone if there were no third-party apps?  Nope!  Would people be locked into Apple's ecosystem without third-paerty apps?  Again, no.  Would Apple be able to charge for advertising of third-party apps?  I think you get the idea.
    The fundamental problem is Apple offers very little (practically nothing) in exchange for the absurd commission. Also Apple treats developers with disdain as if they were the lowest scum on earth.  

    The only real benefit Apple offers is the existence of a large user base to market apps to. 

     



    Who is forcing developers to use Apple App Store?

    They want access to Apple Customers. Who gives them that right ? God?

    if I walk into target and ask them for access to their customer list , what do you think they will say?

    Have a nice day sir.....and sometimes the door hurts on the way out. :smile: 
    edited January 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,072member
    Respite said:
    The judge should have simply said anti-steering is not allowed for ELIGIBLE purchases. Meaning Spotify or Netflix can link to outside payments for their subscriptions, but normal IAP (like tokens in a game) still have to remain in-App.
    What do you mean eligible?

    You've always been able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS, Apple don't prohibit that.

    Not quite. The way it works with digital currency with nearly all IAP in games, is that the players (of certain games) can only spend the digital currency purchased on a certain platform, only when playing on that platform.

    In other words, when playing Fortnite on a PlayStation, the only Fortnite Bucks available are the ones you purchased using a PlayStation. If you also have an Xbox, any Fortnite Bucks you purchased on the Xbox  platform, can not be spent while playing Fortnite on a PlayStation.

    This makes perfect sense for MS, Sony, Nintendo, Apple and Google For example, why should MS allow their Xbox players to use the free Xbox app to play Fortnite, while allowing them to spend Fortnite Bucks that were purchased on another platform, from which MS did not earn a commission from? Or even worse, discounted Fortnite Bucks on Epic own website. If this were the case, all Fortnite players would just purchase the discounted Fortnite Bucks from Epic, while not paying a commission to the platform owners on which they are playing Fortnite using a free app.

    Purchases that do transfer across platforms are the purchases paid with Fortnite Bucks. For example, if you purchased $20 in Fortnite Bucks ($10 in real dollars) on an Xbox and spent $10 in Fortnite Bucks for a cool outfit, MS got their 30% commission ($3 in real dollars) for the purchase of $20 in Fortnite Bucks and the cool outfit you purchase will be available on all the platforms you play Fortnite on (logged your account) but the $10 in Fortnite Bucks you have left over can only be spent while playing on the Xbox. It would be unfair for Sony if you were able use the left over $10 (in Fortnite Bucks) on a PlayStation as Sony did not get any commission for that $10 (in Fortnite Bucks).

    MS, Sony and Nintendo gets "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform, from the commission they earn on the purchase of Fortnite Bucks using the free Fortnite app on their platform. Why shouldn't Apple and Google get "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform?

    This is/was also true for mobile platforms (Android and iOS). But by offering iOS and Android Fortnite Bucks outside their app stores, it got Epic kicked out of the Apple and Google Play apps stores.


    So "always" wasn't too long and surely it wasn't before Epic violated apps stores policies. And if you were following the Epic vs Apple case, the Judge forced Epic to pay Apple the commission from the sale of Fortnite Bucks outside of the Apple App Store. It seems that iOS users that already had the Fortnite app downloaded were still able play Fortnite and continue to purchase Fortnite Bucks from Epic website. But the Fortnite app could not be updated to the latest game play.


    And if you followed closely on what was happening when Epic made discounted Fortnite Bucks available to iOS (that got them kicked out of the Apple App Store), Epic had to discount Fortnite Bucks on all platforms by the same 20%. This to be fair to players on platforms by MS, Sony and Nintendo. So not only did Epic have to pay back Apple their 30% commission on all the Fortnite Bucks sold on their own website, they loss 20% on the sale of Fortnite Bucks on all platforms, while this was going on.

    Add this to the Judge ruling that Epic must pay Apple legal fees (at least some of it), how can one not be a Nelson Muntz and yell out ..... Ha-Ha .... while pointing at Sweeney.

     



    edited January 18 watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    davidw said:
    Respite said:
    The judge should have simply said anti-steering is not allowed for ELIGIBLE purchases. Meaning Spotify or Netflix can link to outside payments for their subscriptions, but normal IAP (like tokens in a game) still have to remain in-App.
    What do you mean eligible?

    You've always been able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS, Apple don't prohibit that.

    Not quite. The way it works with digital currency with nearly all IAP in games, is that the players (of certain games) can only spend the digital currency purchased on a certain platform, only when playing on that platform.

    In other words, when playing Fortnite on a PlayStation, the only Fortnite Bucks available are the ones you purchased using a PlayStation. If you also have an Xbox, any Fortnite Bucks you purchased on the Xbox  platform, can not be spent while playing Fortnite on a PlayStation.

    This makes perfect sense for MS, Sony, Nintendo, Apple and Google For example, why should MS allow their Xbox players to use the free Xbox app to play Fortnite, while allowing them to spend Fortnite Bucks that were purchased on another platform, from which MS did not earn a commission from? Or even worse, discounted Fortnite Bucks on Epic own website. If this were the case, all Fortnite players would just purchase the discounted Fortnite Bucks from Epic, while not paying a commission to the platform owners on which they are playing Fortnite using a free app.

    Purchases that do transfer across platforms are the purchases paid with Fortnite Bucks. For example, if you purchased $20 in Fortnite Bucks ($10 in real dollars) on an Xbox and spent $10 in Fortnite Bucks for a cool outfit, MS got their 30% commission ($3 in real dollars) for the purchase of $20 in Fortnite Bucks and the cool outfit you purchase will be available on all the platforms you play Fortnite on (logged your account) but the $10 in Fortnite Bucks you have left over can only be spent while playing on the Xbox. It would be unfair for Sony if you were able use the left over $10 (in Fortnite Bucks) on a PlayStation as Sony did not get any commission for that $10 (in Fortnite Bucks).

    MS, Sony and Nintendo gets "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform, from the commission they earn on the purchase of Fortnite Bucks using the free Fortnite app on their platform. Why shouldn't Apple and Google get "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform?

    This is/was also true for mobile platforms (Android and iOS). But by offering iOS and Android Fortnite Bucks outside their app stores, it got Epic kicked out of the Apple and Google Play apps stores.


    So "always" wasn't too long and surely it wasn't before Epic violated apps stores policies. And if you were following the Epic vs Apple case, the Judge forced Epic to pay Apple the commission from the sale of Fortnite Bucks outside of the Apple App Store. It seems that iOS users that already had the Fortnite app downloaded were still able play Fortnite and continue to purchase Fortnite Bucks from Epic website. But the Fortnite app could not be updated to the latest game play.


    And if you followed closely on what was happening when Epic made discounted Fortnite Bucks available to iOS (that got them kicked out of the Apple App Store), Epic had to discount Fortnite Bucks on all platforms by the same 20%. This to be fair to players on platforms by MS, Sony and Nintendo. So not only did Epic have to pay back Apple their 30% commission on all the Fortnite Bucks sold on their own website, they loss 20% on the sale of Fortnite Bucks on all platforms, while this was going on.

    Add this to the Judge ruling that Epic must pay Apple legal fees (at least some of it), how can one not be a Nelson Muntz and yell out ..... Ha-Ha .... while pointing at Sweeney.

     



    You have a real talent for pushing into conversations and zeroing in with laser focus on the periphery of the point.  Notwithstanding the fact that what you've said is largely incorrect, Fortnite currency is transferrable across all platforms except the Nintendo Switch (and iOS, obvs).

    You were always able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS and you can buy Fortnite game content outside of iOS. My question was what ericthehalfbee meant by eligible.
    tht
  • Reply 18 of 19
    your headline seems to editorialize that apple charging a commission is somehow bad.

    How small of you.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,072member
    Respite said:
    davidw said:
    Respite said:
    The judge should have simply said anti-steering is not allowed for ELIGIBLE purchases. Meaning Spotify or Netflix can link to outside payments for their subscriptions, but normal IAP (like tokens in a game) still have to remain in-App.
    What do you mean eligible?

    You've always been able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS, Apple don't prohibit that.

    Not quite. The way it works with digital currency with nearly all IAP in games, is that the players (of certain games) can only spend the digital currency purchased on a certain platform, only when playing on that platform.

    In other words, when playing Fortnite on a PlayStation, the only Fortnite Bucks available are the ones you purchased using a PlayStation. If you also have an Xbox, any Fortnite Bucks you purchased on the Xbox  platform, can not be spent while playing Fortnite on a PlayStation.

    This makes perfect sense for MS, Sony, Nintendo, Apple and Google For example, why should MS allow their Xbox players to use the free Xbox app to play Fortnite, while allowing them to spend Fortnite Bucks that were purchased on another platform, from which MS did not earn a commission from? Or even worse, discounted Fortnite Bucks on Epic own website. If this were the case, all Fortnite players would just purchase the discounted Fortnite Bucks from Epic, while not paying a commission to the platform owners on which they are playing Fortnite using a free app.

    Purchases that do transfer across platforms are the purchases paid with Fortnite Bucks. For example, if you purchased $20 in Fortnite Bucks ($10 in real dollars) on an Xbox and spent $10 in Fortnite Bucks for a cool outfit, MS got their 30% commission ($3 in real dollars) for the purchase of $20 in Fortnite Bucks and the cool outfit you purchase will be available on all the platforms you play Fortnite on (logged your account) but the $10 in Fortnite Bucks you have left over can only be spent while playing on the Xbox. It would be unfair for Sony if you were able use the left over $10 (in Fortnite Bucks) on a PlayStation as Sony did not get any commission for that $10 (in Fortnite Bucks).

    MS, Sony and Nintendo gets "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform, from the commission they earn on the purchase of Fortnite Bucks using the free Fortnite app on their platform. Why shouldn't Apple and Google get "paid" for hosting the free Fortnite app on their platform?

    This is/was also true for mobile platforms (Android and iOS). But by offering iOS and Android Fortnite Bucks outside their app stores, it got Epic kicked out of the Apple and Google Play apps stores.


    So "always" wasn't too long and surely it wasn't before Epic violated apps stores policies. And if you were following the Epic vs Apple case, the Judge forced Epic to pay Apple the commission from the sale of Fortnite Bucks outside of the Apple App Store. It seems that iOS users that already had the Fortnite app downloaded were still able play Fortnite and continue to purchase Fortnite Bucks from Epic website. But the Fortnite app could not be updated to the latest game play.


    And if you followed closely on what was happening when Epic made discounted Fortnite Bucks available to iOS (that got them kicked out of the Apple App Store), Epic had to discount Fortnite Bucks on all platforms by the same 20%. This to be fair to players on platforms by MS, Sony and Nintendo. So not only did Epic have to pay back Apple their 30% commission on all the Fortnite Bucks sold on their own website, they loss 20% on the sale of Fortnite Bucks on all platforms, while this was going on.

    Add this to the Judge ruling that Epic must pay Apple legal fees (at least some of it), how can one not be a Nelson Muntz and yell out ..... Ha-Ha .... while pointing at Sweeney.

     



    You have a real talent for pushing into conversations and zeroing in with laser focus on the periphery of the point.  Notwithstanding the fact that what you've said is largely incorrect, Fortnite currency is transferrable across all platforms except the Nintendo Switch (and iOS, obvs).

    You were always able to buy Fortnite currency outside of iOS and you can buy Fortnite game content outside of iOS. My question was what ericthehalfbee meant by eligible.

    Epic "share wallet" has only been around for about 3 years. In fact, Sony just joined the party about a year and a half ago (5/2022). Nintendo is still holding out.


    When Epic got kicked out for violating Apple App Store policies, what I posted was correct at the time. MS, Sony, Nintendo, Google and Apple did not allow their platform Fortnite Bucks, to be purchased outside their platforms. The commission they made from IAP of Fortnite Bucks was how they all got "paid", for hosting the free Fortnite app.

    So it has never been .... always. It's more like .... just recently ..... that Epic VBucks purchased on one platform, can be share with another platform, except Nintendo (for now).

    What ericthehalfbee was referring to was that Apple has never allowed the IAP of any digital currency that is to be spent in an iOS game, to be paid for outside of that game app. What were "eligible" IAP were payments for subscription for content services like Netflix, Spotify, WSJ, most video/audio streaming services and magazines. These are referred to as "reader apps" by Apple.


    But up until now, even these "reader apps" were not allowed to advertise that payment could be made on their websites or provide a link to their websites, inside their app. Now they will be allowed to, still with no condition of having to pay a commission.

    However, IAP for digital currency will still be subject to paying a commission, even if payments are made outside of the app, on the developers own websites and using the developer own payment systems. 

    On a side note, MS was trying to (and probably still is), get their Steam like game streaming app, into the Apple App Store, claiming the app is a content streaming "reader app". No different than the likes of Netflix, Spotify and WSJ.


    edited January 18 watto_cobra
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