As part of a major turn of events, Apple and Google have removed the popular Fortnite battle royale game from the App Store and the Google Play Store, respectively. The decision was initially taken by Apple, which was followed by Google after the Epic Games-owned battle royale game introduced its direct payment system, thus, bypassing the app stores. Read on to know more about it.
Fortnite no longer exists on Google Play Store, App Store
Fortnite recently added the direct payment option that would allow users to directly make in-app purchases via to Epic Games instead of using Apple and Google's payment system. The feature would have allowed users to get a discount of up to 20% on V-Bucks, which is Fortnite's currency. However, it clearly defied both tech majors' app store policies, specifically the one where Apple and Google get a 30% cut on the in-app purchases.
Following this, Apple and then Google removed the app from their respective app stores, which attracted more heat from Fortnite owner Epic Games. Epic Games went on suing Apple and Google. Epic Games aims to prove Apple's (and even Google's) monopoly and wants its unfair practices to end for fair competition in the mobile app distribution. Fortnite also tweeted about the same with a copy of the lawsuit filed.
This wasn't it. Fornite even released a video called the 'Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite #FreeFortnite' mocking Apple's famous 1984 ad, calling the company out for its unfair practices, and asking people to support it in its fight against Apple.
Apple, in a statement to The Verge, 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." It also claimed to make efforts to resolve things with Fortnite.
Even Google issued a statement on the same lines, saying, "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."
For those who don't know, Fornite has always bashed the 30% cut that Apple and Google got from the developers. This proves to be a sensitive time for Apple as the company recently faced an antitrust over the working of the app store. The Cupertino tech major has been facing backlash on how it manages the App Store. Google has also faced some issues in the past over its app store monopoly.
Both Android and iOS users who already have the Fornite app can continue using it as only the new downloads have been blocked. However, Android users can still download the game via Fortnite's software launcher to directly get the game.
There is no word on how things will turn out to be for Fornite, Apple, or Google. We will let you know if something new pops up. Hence, stay tuned.