Fortnite — the popular video game from Epic Games — has been removed from the Apple App Store for iPhones, removing access to the game for potentially millions of people.

What happened:

On Thursday, Epic Games started to offer discounts to its digital items when purchased through Epic, rather than through Apple and Google’s payment systems, CNBC reports.

  • Apple said (via CNBC): “Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store.”
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  • Epic Games said in its legal filing: “Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”

Epic Games is now suing Apple for removing Fortnite from the Apple App Store, calling the decision to do so an example of “anti-competitive restraints and monopolistic practices,” according to Kotaku.

“Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets (the App Store and in-app payment processing) that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers.”

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Bigger picture:

Epic’s move was made as a way to protest Apple and Google, who reportedly take a 30% cut from sales. But, according to The Verge, the debate is bigger than that.

“The debate is larger than just the 30% cut. Apple is facing heightened criticism these days over how it not only manages the App Store and its mandatory fees, but also for how it applies its guidelines in ways some developers and critics feel is unfair and may in fact be designed to benefit Apple over its competitors.”

Now, Fortnite is reportedly throwing shade at Apple on its Party Royale island.