Following an adjustment by Epic Games of the mobile version of its hit game Fortnite to circumvent in-app purchases on both the App Store and Google Play Store, and Apple’s removal of the game from its marketplace, Fortnite has now also been removed from Google’s platform.
That doesn’t mean the game is entirely unavailable on Android devices, however. Unlike iPhones, there are multiple storefronts for apps on Google’s devices. Epic has its own marketplace on the platform, as does Samsung on its line of Android phones and tablets. Fortnite is still available through those outlets.
“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,” Google told The Verge.
Both Apple and Google take a 30% revenue cut on all purchases made through their platforms, including anything that’s bought within an app. Developer Epic Games tried to go around that costly revenue split by allowing players to purchase its in-game currency V-Bucks directly from Epic, incentivizing such behavior with a 20% discount. This would have meant that Epic would get a 10% increase in revenue compared to the previous arrangement.
It seems Epic was prepared for its game to be taken down on the storefronts. Moments after reports broke that Fortnite was no longer on the App Store, Epic filed an injunction against the company regarding what it considers to be anticompetative policies. It also aired a short animated spoof of Apple’s famous “1984” ad, claiming that the company has become the very thing it railed against nearly 40 years ago.
It’s hard to imagine that Fortnite’s lack of existence on either marketplace will be permanent, but it will be interesting to see whether Epic’s play will make either Apple or Google reconsider their policies. As of now, both companies are in firm defense of their practices and procedures.