Epic’s Fortnite V-Bucks discount aims to shame Apple and Google

Epic Games has made the stunning announcement that it’s permanently lowering Fortnite V-Bucks prices by a stellar 20%. That’s not all, though — the company behind Fortnite and the Epic Games Store is calling out Apple and Google’s 30% cut of purchases made on their respective storefronts.

The permanent 20% price drop on Fortnite V-Bucks prices applies to all platforms, regardless of how you pay. This same discount also applies to real-money offers purchased for the game, but it won’t quite work the same on mobile devices; instead, you’ll have to use a new “Epic direct payment” option if it’s available in your country.

“Today, we’re also introducing a new way to pay on iOS and Android: Epic direct payment,” read a news post on Fortnite’s website. “When you choose to use Epic direct payments, you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you.”

“Currently, when using Apple and Google payment options, Apple and Google collect a 30% fee, and the up to 20% price drop does not apply,” the news post continued. “If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”

Fortnite V-Bucks prices Apple App Store Google Play

Epic Games calling out the percentage-based cuts taken by stores isn’t anything new. The Epic Games Store was revealed back in 2018 with just as 12% revenue cut compared to the 30% of Steam and other storefronts. It promised transparency to developers and has spent the last two years giving away free games every one to two weeks to get more people onto its platform.

It’s unclear how Epic Games has managed to create the Epic direct payment system. Apple, for example, requires that developers pay them a 30% cut of in-app purchases. Epic direct payment can be seen as a shot across the bow for both Apple and Google — taking down Fortnite from either platform, even temporarily, would likely spark outrage.

The unassailable success of Fortnite gave Epic Games the clout and financial power to take on Steam and other digital retailers on PC. Now, it looks like they’re finally bringing the fight to mobile storefronts. I can’t say for sure how Google and Apple will respond to the changes in Fortnite V-Bucks prices and Epic direct payment, but I smell a serious showdown coming.