Fortnite pulled from Google and Apple app stores for policy violation!

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Fortnite.pngQuite a fast moving and bizarre day in the world of Fortnite which started with Epic enabling a new payment method in their latest update that allows users to pay for 20% cheaper microtransactions by bypassing the devices official app stores thus denying them their 30% cut of the profits.

Great news for users (who still seem to be paying 10% more than Epic would have received), bad news for Google and Apple who have responded by preventing new downloads and updates via their respective stores.

Tim Sweeney, the Epic CEO, has often weighed in his thoughts of gated stores, so frustrated with Steam that Epic of course launched their own Epic store, but that isn't something that is possible on Apple devices. I think ultimately he did have positive things to say about Microsoft's Windows 10 store although of course on a PC there are many places to get applications.

An Apple statement said:
Today, 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. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.

Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.

Clearly Epic was ready for the response from Apple, as soon as it was pulled they not only filed a lawsuit - https://cdn2.unrealengine.com/apple-complaint-734589783.pdf - but also uploaded a parody of Apple's own 1984 advert:


It wasn't long after that Google also removed Fortnite (as it gradually disappears), citing a violation of Play store policy but hoped there would be positive discussions.

With the EU Already in the midst of an antitrust investigation with Apple and the recent news around Microsoft's XCloud being locked out of the platform, things are likely to get very interesting!

Source Source    Apple just kicked Fortnite off the App Store | The Verge

Windows 10 Insider Developer Build 20180

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I think I missed a build, but Microsoft have once again released a new Wednesday build of their latest development work on Windows 10.

Highlights this week include a post-update experience that didn't pop up for me so I guess I have it turned off.
There are also some new options for graphics cards to pick the one that is used in performance situations (gaming) or on an app-by-app basis, useful for someone I guess.
There are of course a number of other fixes and changes, although now limited to this development environment as features will now seep back into the beta and then production builds.

Source Source    Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20190 | Windows Insider Program

New Chinese Diablo: Immortal trailer

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It wouldn't be a stretch to say that when Blizzard announced the mobile game Diablo: Immortal back in 2018 the feedback was overwhelmingly negative. A room full of Diablo fans (along with Warcraft, Starcraft and Hearthstone fans as well) had been expecting some kind of news about a follow-up to the hugely popular Diablo III. Instead they got some rehashed mobile game made by the third party NetEase and spawning the meme “Do you guys not have phones?”

Diablo-Immortal.jpg

Things have felt pretty quiet since then for Diablo: Immortal and last year Blizzard did finally announce Diablo IV but now a new gameplay trailer has appeared for the mobile game from ChinaJoy 2020. (Not that China is bringing a lot of joy this year?)


The graphics still don't look amazing, but they have been improved and this is still a mobile game, but are there mobile devices available today where it will run smoothly? Hopefully Blizzard are taking the time to release something special that won't be riddled with microtransactions, something not unheard of in the mobile space.

At least we can still look forward to Diablo IV, check the source for comparisons between 2018 and 2020 along with some more translated information from the Chinese website.

Source Source    New Diablo Immortal Trailer - Baal, Polished Models, Improved UI, Gameplay Footage | Wowhead

Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play

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Outed by an Irish toy website, Smyths, there was briefly an apparent reference to Halo Infinite - one of sixteen Xbox Series X launch titles, being free-to-play.

Halo.png

On first reading this I thought it meant that Xbox Live Gold wouldn't be required, but it doesn't exactly clarify that, more likely it sounds like parts of the online experience of the game itself will not require purchase at all.

It wouldn't be that surprising really, if it was just that, many games these days such as Call of Duty and Fortnite have a free online component and Microsoft certainly has the room to give amazing perks as we have seen with Gears of War 5 and the extremely economic Game Pass that will replace Gold soon enough.

We will have wait and see, although I don't think I will get a series X myself as I barely use my Xbox One X and I am not sure the vertical monster will fit in my cupboard.

UPDATE: Official confirmation from @halo on Twitter: But again, is this a free game or free service? Only time will tell, apparently!

Source Source    Leak suggests 'Halo Infinite' multiplayer will be free-to-play | Engadget

Microsoft Windows 10 turns five years old

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Neowin has posted a great retrospective on Windows 10 which turned 5 years old this week, or yesterday specifically.

That is actually a long time, if you also consider that Windows 8 was only released 7 years ago (tomorrow) and even then wasn't something I switched to until the release of 8.1 a year later - very content with Windows 7 which is now considered end of life by Microsoft and soon if not already by many popular applications.

You could argue not much has changed in terms of the looks, Windows 10 has a very unmistakable style over both Windows 7 and 8 but there have been many new versions given silly seasonal names with a huge number of iterations via the Insider program.

1595885028_28.jpg 1595884940_1.jpg 1595885002_21.jpg

Give the article a read and you will actually see how much has actually changed, with nearly every part of the operating system getting some attention at some time or another. Members of the product team have never been more accessible on reddit or Twitter either so it is always a shame when releases are tarnished by the smallest of bugs, especially when those bugs lead to blocks and serious problems for users.

Source Source    Windows 10 is five years old - here's how it's evolved | Neowin

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