Fortnite has been kicked from the Google Play Store. News of the removal came shortly after Apple took the mega-popular game from Epic Games off its App Store. Google’s reasoning lies very similar to Apple’s.
The industry saw a bit of a shakeup during the late afternoon yesterday. Hours after Epic Games updated the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite to enable users to pay for in-app purchases directly to the company, Apple struck back. Epic Games circumvented Apple and Google’s payment system, which would see both companies take a 30 percent cut of the revenue made. In doing so, Epic Games violated the policies in place, making the decision for Apple to remove the company’s game from its App Store an easy one to make. Google quickly followed.
In a report from The Verge, Google removed Fortnite from the Google Play Store due to the requirement that games use the Google Play payment system for in-app purchases. While Apple has been placed under a microscope for its App Store policies, Google has its own policies in place. As the company’s Policy Center states: “Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment.”
Google provided a statement to The Verge which reads as followed: “The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, 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.”
While Fortnite was given the boot from all iOS devices, Android users can still install the game. While it won’t be available on the Google Play Store, Epic Games directs players to visit their website. Users can also visit the Samsung Galaxy Store to install the game on Samsung devices. Seeing as though Android is an open ecosystem, Google takes no umbrage with other mobile stores distributing Fortnite.
As this whole situation was escalating, Epic Games announced that it was filing a lawsuit against Apple in response to the company’s decision to remove the game. However, Epic Games is doubling down and filed legal papers against Google as well. “Google has deliberately and systematically closed the Android ecosystem to competition, breaking the promises it made. Google’s anti-competitive conduct has now been condemned by regulators the world over,” Epic Games says in the papers.
Epic Games has said it is not seeking monetary gain from suing Apple and Google. Instead, the company seeks to see reform in the policies in place by both companies. As stated on the legal papers: “Epic likewise does not seek a side deal or favorable treatment from Google for itself. Instead, Epic seeks injunctive relief that would deliver Google’s broken promise: an open, competitive Android ecosystem for all users and industry participants.”
Epic Games quickly fired back on Apple by hosting the ‘Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite’ in-game short, mocking Apple’s ‘1984’ ad. Though, the company has yet to do anything as unexpected against Google.