Apple has been at the hub of several controversies mostly relating to its App Store. The company has been in and out of court in different parts of the world. Earlier today, there were reports that South Korea passed a law to force Apple to relax restrictions on App Store payments. Epic Games has been at loggerheads with Apple over the latters 30% commission in the App Store. Both companies are currently having a legal battle which caused Apple to yank off Epic Games from the App Store. However, after the recent legislature in South Korea, Epic Games now have some hope in the Asian country. According to Epic Games, it would require the tech giant to restore its developer account in order to release “Fortinte” for iOS.
Epic Games has a legal dispute with Apple around the world because of the App Store policy. The company said that it hopes to re-release “Fortnite” in South Korea, with first-party and third-party payment systems attached to it.
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Epic said through its official Twitter account, “Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account. Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law”.
New law gives room for other payment options
South Korean lawmakers passed the Telecommunications Business Act in late August. This law, dubbed by local media as the “anti-Google law,” mainly targets digital app store owners. It forces mainstream app store operators such as Apple and Google to allow other payment methods during in-app purchases. Developers currently carrying out marketing activities on the App Store need to use Apple’s payment system. If they do this, they will need to pay a 30% commission. After the implementation of the new law, Apple must not only loosen the payment restrictions on the app store but also must not delay the review process of apps. Of course, it can not even think of arbitrarily removing apps from the app store.
For Apple, the game market is its real source of revenue for the app store. According to evidence submitted by Epic, up to 81% of Apple’s app store revenue in 2016 came from games. Apple CEO, Cook, also admitted personally when he testified in court that most of the revenue of the Apple App Store comes from games.
This means that Apple’s concessions to small developers and to developers of “reading” apps in the past two weeks are just a strategic and soft gesture. It seems that Apple is changing and making concessions, but it will not cause huge losses to its tens of billions of dollars in app store revenue each year. However, when it comes to gaming applications and services, it may have an immediate impact on Apple’s earnings.