Epic drops Fortnite V-Bucks price, calls out Apple and Google’s 30% cut

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 13 August 2020 13:54 GMT

Epic Games is offering Fortnite players a deal on V-Bucks, if they’re willing to jump through one hoop.

The real-world price of Fortnite‘s virtual currency, V-Bucks, is being permanently discounted for up to 20% off. The new prices kick in today, and they’re valid across PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Fortnite players on Android and iOS could also take advantage of the cheaper prices, but only if they’re willing to pay Epic Games directly, bypassing the built-in systems on App Store and the Google Play Store.

To facilitate this, Epic is introducing a new direct pay option, which players on mobile will see anytime they decide to buy V-Bucks. For instance, a pack of 1,000 V-Bucks would normally cost $10, but going through Epic directly drops that price to $8. This obviously adds up the bigger the pack.

Epic Games explained that it’s able to offer this discount because the transactions don’t have to go through Apple or Google. As is common knowledge, all app store transactions made across iOS and Android are subject to a 30% cut, which is essentially viewed a fee for running and maintaining these stores.

In the past, Epic made no secret of its view towards these so called taxes. The developer initially refused to publish Fortnite on Android’s Play Store, asking players to instead download the .APK file if they want to play on Android. Nearly two years later, Epic begrudgingly brought Fortnite to the Play Store.

Indeed, the company believes in a lower cut for stores so strongly, it’s investing millions into building its own store to eat away at Valve’s dominance of the PC space.

“If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you,” Epic said in a blog post. The developer also published a a list of countries where players can use Epic direct.

Those who purchased V-Bucks in the past 30 days will be given a V-Bucks bonus equivalent to 20% of the total purchase value by August 17.

This could land Epic into hot waters with Apple and Google, as it has done with other companies in the past who wanted to bypass the stores’ built-in payment processing. It is, however, interesting that Epic is able to offer the discount on consoles, where the same 30% cut exists.

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