Around 2.5 months ago, Fortnite made its way to the Google Play Store, after two years of its initial release. Now the news is coming that both Google and Apple removed Fortnite from their app stores. It happened because of a move taken by Epic Games without the permission of both mobile app store giants. It is also the reason why #FreeFortnite is trending on social media.
What Problem Fortnite Made to Google and Apple?
On 13th August 2020, Epic Games introduced its own direct in-app payment system called ‘Fortnite Mega Drop’ in Fornite. This new system introduced a permanent discount of up to 20% on Fortnite’s in-game currency ‘V-bucks’. There is no problem with this feature on PC and Console, but things went wrong on mobile devices.
The main reason why Fortnite took two years in making its way to Google Play Store was the 30% cut Google takes in every in-app purchase. The same thing applies to the Apple App Store. The new payment system of Fortnite gives players two options for every in-app purchase: (i) Apple App Store or Google App Store, and (ii) Epic direct payment.
Using the first option, players have to pay a few dollars more out of that Apple or Google takes their cut as usual. But the new payment system allows players to bypass the first option and pay a lower price directly to the Epic. This direct payment system sidesteps Google’s and Apple’s fee. Doing this Epic Game has violated the App Store guidelines.
Why Fortnite Get Banned From Apple App Store and Google Play Store?
In response to the implementation of this direct payment system without prior approval of Apple, Fornite got removed from the iOS App Store. In a statement, Apple 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 that was not reviewed or approved by Apple. 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.”
Apple further said, they will make every effort to resolve this issue with Epic Games and bring back Fortnite on the App Store. Google also had to remove Fortnite from the Google App Store. In a statement to The Verge, Google said:
“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.”
Why Epic Games Filed Lawsuit Against Apple and Google?
Epic Games clearly anticipated Apple’s response to its actions. Between the trend of #FreeFortnite and the Nineteen Eighty-Four parody video, Epic Games has also filed a lawsuit against both Apple and Google. It cited the reason “end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion-dollar markets: (i) the iOS App Distribution Market, and (ii) the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.” The lawsuit against Google is for similar reasons.
Epic Games presented thoughts in the Mega Drop FAQ on the behavior of mobile giants like Apple. It stated, “Epic’s position is that all mobile developers and consumers have the right to choose alternate payment providers that charge less, as is the norm on all other general-purpose computing platforms, including Web, Windows, and Mac. We expect to see a general change in smartphone practices industry-wide for all developers that bring greater value and freedom of choice to consumers. We expect Apple to unblock Fortnite.”
Also Read: Most Popular Mobile Games of 2020
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