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Fortnite vs Apple: The latest in Epic Games' App Store battle – Tom's Guide

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Fortnite can feel like a game of milliseconds, and Apple booted the popular online game from its App Store in a similarly quick amount of time. And it appears that neither side is going to blink first in this digital war, the natural conclusion of Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney’s long standing fight against Apple’s business practices in the iOS App Store. 

Apple kicked Fortnite out of its App Stores on August 13, hours after Epic Games added a new way to pay for items inside of its iPhone and Android apps. This violated of Apple’s rules because it goes right past Apple’s payment processing, so Epic doesn’t have to share the standard 30% of its sales with the iPhone maker. 

Apple isn’t the only one to take action against Epic and Fortnite. Google removed the game from Google Play as well, citing the same issue with in-app purchases as Apple.

If you’re wondering why Epic would try to avoid giving 30% of its sales to Apple and Google, a SensorTower report found that Fortnite raked in more than $1 billion USD in the iOS and Google Play stores.

Latest Fortnite vs. Apple news

The latest blow in the Fortnite vs Apple war comes from the latter, as Apple has informed Epic Games that its developer accounts for iOS and macOS will be shut down on August 28. 

Epic announced Apple’s latest move in a tweet, and we’ve got more news below on how this is less about Fortnite and more about Epic’s overall business.

Epic reacts with “Nineteen Eigthy-Fortnite”

It appeared that Epic and Fortnite were already prepared for this reaction, announcing Nineteen Eigthy-Fortnite, a short you can watch below. In the clip (an obvious riff on Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl commercial, which positioned the company as revolutionary) an Apple-headed man on a series of monitors celebrates the “anniversary of the platform unification directives” and proceeds to yell about how “they” (app developers, it seems) have given labor and dreams, and in exchange the company has taken control and profits. 

[embedded content]

When the voice says “we shall prevail,” a rainbow-haired Fortnite character breaks the screen by throwing a unicorn-headed pickaxe into it. It’s almost a shot for shot remake of the old ad. 

It continues to replicate the older ad, saying:

“Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’”

For those too young to remember, here is the original Apple 1984 ad:

[embedded content]

Apple responds

An Apple spokesperson told The Verge that “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.”

Epic punches back

Shortly thereafter, Epic announced it would be taking Apple to court, tweeting a link to its legal filing. Here’s a brief taste:

“Rather than tolerate this healthy competition and compete on the merits of its offering, Apple responded by removing Fortnite from sale on the App Store, which means that new users cannot download the app, and users who have already downloaded prior versions of the app from the App Store cannot update it to the latest version. This also means that Fortnite players who downloaded their app from the App Store will not receive updates to Fortnite through the App Store, either automatically or by searching the App Store for the update. Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”

What Google did

As Apple and Epic exchanged accusations, Google took action of its own, removing Fortnite from Google Play. According to a Google statement, “we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”

You’re still able to sideload Fortnite onto your Android phone by installing it directly from Epic’s webiste. (In fact, initially, that was the only way to download the Android version of Fortnite a few years back.) The app remains available from Samsung’s Galaxy Store.

What happens next

On Aug. 17, Epic revealed that Apple will be shuttering Epic’s developer accounts and its iOS/macOS development tools. This would be a huge deal for Epic as a company, as it would negatively impact every iOS and macOS game that uses Epic’s Unreal Engine tools, which could be a huge dent in Epic’s bottom line.

Epic Games filed to stop Apple from terminating the developer accounts, and its filing includes the following note:

“If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives. The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable. Preliminary injunctive relief is necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment.”

Epic is also rallying users to protest Apple’s decision with its #FreeFortnite campaign, and the company also shared an FAQ about the whole situation to tell its side of the story.

The timing of all of this feels incredibly intentional on Epic’s part, testing how Apple would respond to a breach of its payment rules while it’s under increased scrutiny. This past June, the European Union opened antitrust investigations to analyze how Apple conducts business in the App Store.

Epic isn’t the only team pushing at Apple’s rules, as Basecamp’s Hey email app also tried to break the rules about how you list an app on the App Store. Soon, Hey found a workaround by giving people burner email accounts to test stuff out, and Apple let them back in the App Store.

Apple was also one of the companies under scrutiny from the U.S. Government when Tim Cook (along with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg) was questioned by lawmakers on Capitol Hill at the end of July. 

In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Sweeney made his criticism for Apple clear, calling the App Store an “absolute monopoly.”

Amazon and Spotify’s exceptions

As reported by The Verge, Apple’s not exactly strict with its 30% rule, cutting Amazon a deal for half that rate, only taking 15% of Amazon purchases made in its iOS and iPad apps. Spotify is also getting a lower rate, as Apple revealed in 2019 that it collects a 15% fee on payments made by Spotify subscribers who signed up between 2014 and 2016.

It’s unclear which steps Apple and Epic will take next, but we’ll be keeping an eye on things to see who budges first. Stay tuned to Tom’s Guide for more about Fortnite’s Epic fight against Apple’s rules.

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Benefit broadcast raises $131,000 for Chatham-Kent Hospice – Stony Plain Reporter

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More than $131,000 was raised for the Chatham-Kent Hospice during the first Hearts Together for CK Hospice benefit broadcast.

Greg Hetherington, left, and Cheryl Johnstone host the first Hearts Together for CK Hospice benefit broadcast in Chatham, Ont., on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (Contributed Photo)

More than $131,000 was raised for the Chatham-Kent Hospice during the first Hearts Together for CK Hospice benefit broadcast.

The event streamed live on Facebook and YourTV on Sept. 24 asking viewers to donate to local palliative care.

Money was also raised in advance through sponsorship and donations.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity and kindness shown by donors in support of our hospice families,” event chairperson Randi Bokor Caron said in a statement. “Even with the COVID-19 pandemic and the many restrictions associated with it, Chatham-Kent Hospice continues to provide compassionate care to those at end-of-life and their families.

“With over 50 per cent of the Chatham-Kent Hospice operating budget being covered by donations each year, these funds will be used to ensure hospice residents remain comfortable and connected to their families at no cost to them.”

The hospice’s benefit gala held annually in October was cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its proceeds are part of the donations that go towards the hospice’s operating budget.

The broadcast included testimonials from families supported by hospice, video performances by local artists, and prize draws for gift cards to local businesses. Greg Hetherington and Cheryl Johnstone were the hosts.

Donations are still being accepted at chathamkenthospice.com.

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West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers – Summerland Review

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The Vernon Vipers fell to 0-2 in the B.C. Hockey League’s Okanagan Cup exhibition tournament Saturday night on home ice.

Deegan Mofford’s goal with 15 seconds left in the second period gave the visiting West Kelowna Warriors a 2-1 win over the Snakes at Kal Tire Place, completing a home-and-home sweep in the first two games of the tourney.

The Warriors beat Vernon 4-1 Friday at Royal LePage Place.

Kaidan Johnson gave the Vipers a 1-0 lead, tapping in a goal-mouth pass from defenceman Trey Taylor at 19:02 of the opening frame.

Carter Wilkie got that one back for the Warriors with a shorthanded goal at 16:30 of the second.

Zach Bennett picked up the win in goal for West Kelowna while Cloverdale product Roan Clarke was stellar in net for the Vipers.

The Okanagan Cup is a two-month tournament that will feature the Okanagan’s four teams, the Vipers, Warriors, Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees.

The tournament will consist of a total of 27 games as each team will face-off against one another four times. The games will take place on Fridays and Saturdays with each team playing a total of 12 games.

The final weekend of play will commence on Saturday, Nov. 7, followed by a weekend of semifinal and final action, beginning Friday, Nov. 13 and concluding with the championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14.

“This a great opportunity for our fans to get their hockey fix,” said Vipers executive vice-president Todd Miller.

Each of the teams 12 games will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com. In addition, all four organizations are excited to showcase their players on Shaw with select games airing on the Shaw channels across the Okanagan.

The Vees started the tournament 2-0, sweeping the Silverbacks 7-0 in Salmon Arm, and 8-2 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The tournament continues Friday, Oct. 2, when the undefeated Warriors and Vees tangle in Penticton. The clubs play again the next night in West Kelowna.

The Vipers will visit Penticton for a mid-week game Wednesday, Oct. 7, before the two teams meet at Kal Tire Place Saturday, Oct. 10.

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors top Vernon Vipers in return to action



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Apple Watch Series 3 users reporting issues after installing WatchOS 7 – MobileSyrup

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Some Apple Watch Series 3 users are reporting several issues with their smartwatches after recently installing watchOS 7.

There’s a thread on Apple’s support forms dedicated to Apple Watch 3 owners detailing their frustrations after downloading watchOS 7.

The most common issue seems to be the smartwatches randomly rebooting several times a day. One user notes that they’ve had several reboots a day and that they never experienced this issue with previous updates.

Further, another forum on MacRumours details similar issues with other Apple Watch Series 3 owners. The users note that they’re experiencing random reboots and laggy performance.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, and although there was a bug fix released this week, it doesn’t appear to solve these specific issues.

It’s worth noting that it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but since there seem to be numerous reports, Apple is likely aware of the problem and hopefully working on a fix.

Apple released watchOS 7 on September 16th, bringing features like sleep tracking and new watch faces.

Source: 9to5Mac, MacRumors

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