There are tons of apps on iOS that allow purchasing outside the scope of in-app purchases. Apple doesn’t get a cut of Uber/Lyft rides done through the iOS app. Apple doesn’t get a cut of Amazon purchases made through the iOS app. Apple doesn’t get a cut of Domino’s Pizza orders made in the iOS app. Etc.
Fortnite is a multiplatform app with a cross-platform user and currency system, vbucks bought on PC are also in your account on PlayStation, Xbox, Mac, Android, and iOS. But on iOS Apple takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases, so vbucks bought on iOS through in-app purchases take a 30% hit due to Apple. Why should Epic Games be forced to use in-app purchases for vbucks when they have a non-in-app purchase way to purchase vbucks in their account directly paying them in the same way across all platforms? Users can save their payment method, get more vbucks the same way they do on all platforms, no in-app purchase required… unless Apple forces it which is illegal. Illegal, you say? Yeah, Epic can’t be forced to implement native iOS in-app purchasing, no matter how much Apple loves slave labor.
So guess what, if you coded iOS in-app purchases to work a year ago or 10 years ago, there’s no guarantee that code still works on iOS version 13+, because Apple constantly breaks old code usage and developers then have to constantly update their code to work properly on Apple’s system. Apple is always making old code get broken retroactively which means if developers don’t constantly update their apps then the apps eventually stop working correctly, and then after a while of not being updated Apple disallows downloading of the app even though technically the app as a whole — like a game’s core gameplay — still runs just fine. Because Apple is running things like the mob, developers basically pay Apple one way or another for protection from Apple.
Meanwhile, the developer’s cross-platform non-in-app purchasing system probably works now the same as it did a year or two or few ago. No extra coding needed, no need to pay an engineer more, hmmmmmmmmm…
So not only does Apple take 30% of the in-app purchase revenue, they also force developers to pay for production costs of constantly updating their apps’ systems to work with Apple’s ever-changing native APIs like in-app purchasing.
In short, Apple is full of idiots that do a bunch of dumb things and if they think they can force games to use native iOS in-app purchases instead of letting games implement their own purchasing system just like plenty of non-game apps do, then Apple has my permission to die. Same goes to Google or any company that thinks it’s ok to do what Apple is trying to do here.
None of this means that I fully endorse Epic Games, Fortnite, and vbucks in general, but that’s a different topic. Plus, hey, Epic can do whatever they want with Fortnite, it’s their game.