Epic Games is permanently discounting V-bucks and real-money offers in Fortnite by up to 20 percent, in what it’s calling the ‘Fortnite Mega Drop,’ but mobile players will need to dodge platform fees to take advantage.
PC and console players will now receive an up to 20 percent discount as standard when purchasing V-Bucks or real-money items. Mobile players, however, will only receive the same discount if they choose to make purchases using Epic’s preferred ‘direct payment’ method.
In making an Epic direct payment, players avoiding incurring the store fees applied to purchased by Apple and Google.
“Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30 percent fee, and the up to 20 percent price drop does not apply,” reads an Epic blog post. “If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”
While the price-drop is great news for players, it’s also another play in Epic’s well-documented attempt to get Apple and Google to drop or tweak the store fees on their respective platforms. Epic founder Tim Sweeney recently called those fees “exploitative,” and suggested they harm both developers and consumers.
“This is a critical consideration in these 30 percent store fees,” wrote Sweeney on Twitter. “They come off the top, before funding any developer costs. As a result, Apple and Google make more profit from most developers’ games than the developers themselves. That is terribly unfair and exploitative.
“It pains me to complain about Apple in this way. Apple is one of the greatest companies that has ever existed, perhaps the greatest. But they’re fundamentally wrong in blocking competition and choice on devices they make, and that holds up entire fields of technological progress.”
Sweeney’s preferred solution would be for Apple and Google to fully open up their platforms to alternative payment methods.
“The best solution is for Apple and Google to truly open these platforms up to competing payment services and to competing stores,” he continued. “Competition will ensure that every service provider can compete on fees, and that customers get the best prices on software.”