A still from the video game "Fortnite."
Courtesy Epic Games

Epic Games isn’t playing around. In August 2020, the company introduced a new payment system within Fortnite, its massively popular online game, which sidestepped Apple’s and Google’s taking a cut of every in-app purchase, a practice that costs developers as much as 30% per purchase. In response, the tech giants pulled the game from their app stores. Epic Games’ subsequent anti-trust lawsuits against Apple and Google—filed in the U.S. and abroad—could help loosen their grips on the global market for apps. And there’s no sign that the Fortnite phenomenon is flagging: a record-breaking 15.3 million people played at once during the game’s season finale.

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Write to Patrick Lucas Austin at patrick.austin@time.com.