In 2018, Epic lowered its take from the Epic Games Store from the industry standard of 30 percent to a mere 12/88 split with developers. It has maintained that the 30-percent cut by other app stores is too high for small independent developers to make a profit, especially when those fees also apply to subscriptions and in-app purchases.
In a move that Apple and Google are sure to disapprove of, Epic Games has implemented a direct payment option for Fortnite in-game purchases. The way it works is that players will have the option to pay Epic directly via PayPal or credit card, thus bypassing Apple’s and Google’s 30-percent fee on in-game purchases.
To sway more users to direct purchasing, Epic is permanently discounting all in-game transactions by up to 20 percent when using the system. Epic stresses that this “Fortnite Mega Drop” is not a limited-time sale, but rather a new lower price.
“The Fortnite Mega Drop is here! Get up to 20% savings on V-Bucks and real-money offers for every purchase on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, and on mobile when using select payment methods [Epic Direct Payment].”
The real thumb in the eye is that the discount applies to all purchases made outside of Google Play and Apple App Store. So console and PC players can enjoy the savings too. Players can continue paying through the app stores if they prefer, but will not get the discount.
While Epic did not say it was doing this in protest of what many developers feel is an unreasonable commission on their work, the connotations are there.
“Currently, there are no savings if players use Apple and Google payment options, where Apple and Google collect an exorbitant 30 percent fee on all payments,” says Epic. “If Apple and Google lower their fees on payments, Epic will pass along the savings to players.”
Epic lowered its store fees to 12 percent more than two years ago. This cut was also retroactive to 2014 when the Epic Games Store first opened. So long time devs got huge paybacks. Likewise, the company is making the Mega Drop somewhat retroactive as well.
Players who have made purchases since July 14, will soon find bonus V-buck in their wallets. Epic is also giving away a new weapon for free to every active account regardless of whether the player has ever spent any money.
Apple and Google have not commented on the action, but it is highly likely we will be hearing from them.