Microsoft allows Epic Games on its app store without fee

Epic's Fortnite, and games from Amazon.com will be available via search or browsing the Microsoft Store.
Epic's Fortnite, and games from Amazon.com will be available via search or browsing the Microsoft Store.PHOTO: REUTERS

REDMOND (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) - Microsoft said it is bringing Epic Games' storefront to its online app store, part of the software company's policy to allow third parties wide availability on Microsoft's digital sales platform.

Epic's Fortnite, and games from Amazon.com will be available via search or browsing the Microsoft Store on Windows, the Redmond, Washington-based company said Tuesday (Sept 28) in a statement.

The world's largest software provider also said it will not take a cut of purchases made through the digital storefronts if the third party has its own payment systems.

"It's also about making sure our business terms are fair and help promote innovation," Microsoft said.

Epic Games chief executive officer Tim Sweeney tweeted: "Microsoft is again leading the industry forward with Windows, now an open platform with an open store."

Microsoft's approach is aimed at attracting content providers to its platforms by contrasting its policies with those of Apple, which is in a legal dispute with Epic over fees charged in the iPhone maker's App Store.

Epic sued Apple in August 2020 after the iPhone maker removed Fortnite from its App Store, citing a workaround that circumvented Apple's commission on purchases.

A United States judge in the case ruled this month that Apple cannot bar developers from pointing users to complete purchases outside the App Store, bypassing the company's fees.

Epic has appealed the ruling, while Apple does not have to make any changes until December at the earliest.

Developers have long criticised Apple's commissions of between 15 per cent and 30 per cent on many App Store purchases, what some developers see as an opaque and unpredictable app-vetting process.