Fortnite has been a runaway success story for Epic Games. So it was only a matter of time before it was available on mobile devices.
Both Apple and Google has listed the game on their respective app-stores for a while now.
However, due to the ongoing tensions at Epic, that has since all come crashing down.
As detailed in the past, Epic has taken issue with Google and Apple taking a 30% cut of in-app purchases. And rightfully so. 30% is a large piece of the pie.
As such, Epic decided on a way to circumvent these tariffs by offering a secondary method of paying for V-bucks.
[For anybody unfamiliar, V-bucks are Fortnite‘s in-game, premium currency, paid for using real-world money. They are used to purchase new skins, guns, etc.]
Originally, players had to purchase V-bucks for the market going value (1,000 V-bucks for $9.99). However, Epic added this secondary payment method that goes directly to Epic. This also comes in at a reduced price of $7.99 for the same amount.
Image courtesy of Eurogamer
As you can imagine, this move did not sit well with Google or Apple. Because Epic’s move directly opposes their store front guidelines, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store. (Google followed suit shortly afterwards).
To confirm the removal, Apple spoke to The Verge about it, saying;
“…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 has 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”.
To follow suit, Google also removed Fortnite from the Play Store. This move was confirmed with a statement to The Verge as well;
“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores [in Android’s case, users can install Fortnite via the Play Store, the Samsung Galaxy store (on Samsung devices, obviously), and direct from the Epic Games mobile store].
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”.
With both Apple and Google removing Fortnite from their official storefronts, you’d think that was it. But then, this is the ongoing Epic saga we’re talking about.
Epic has filed lawsuits against both Google and Apple following their decisions. Both lawsuits are interesting reads and show a true insight into the monopoly of Apple and Google over their products. Whether this will resolve anything faster (or leads to a purge of Epic games) remains to be seen. But if I were you, I’d make sure I’d bring some popcorn next time.
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