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Epic Games Goes to War Against Apple and Android Over Fortnite
"Fortnite has been removed on both the App Store and Google Play Store."

Something very interesting is happening in the tech world right now. Yesterday, Epic Games updated its popular battle royale game Fortnite with new in-game purchase options. When purchasing V-Bucks, users could choose to purchase them directly through Epic Games. However, this bypassed the Google Play and Apple App Store checkout. Thus, Apple and Google began losing out on the 30% cut they make off these purchase. In addition, the new payment method also went against both companies terms of use.

Epic Games did not budge on the new payment method. Instead, they hatched a plan to get back at Apple and Google for controlling these profit cuts. Apple and Google both retaliated by removing Fortnite off their respective stores due to breaking the terms of service agreement.

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Apple was the first company to take a stance against Epic Games for trying to outsmart them by adding a new payment method through the store. After the company removed Fortnite, Epic Games began rallying the public to its side to help fight the company. Apple is currently facing antitrust concerns over its operations of the App Store and the rules it puts in place for certain developers. Some developers feel the company treats others better while some are constantly facing issues.

Following the removal of Fortnite on the App Store, Epic Games released a troll video titled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” with the #FreeFortnite tag. The video is a clone of Apple’s 1984 ad. The video aired on YouTube and in Fortnite itself. This video raises concerns over Epic Games and its premaditated plan to launch a smear campaign. This sort of thing needed time.

Apple released a statement claiming the company plans to work with Epic Games to “resolve these violations”. However, they have no intention to create a special arrangement for the company.

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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.

Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have 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.

In a statement, Google explained why the company also removed Fortnite from the Play Store. However, users can still download the game through Epic Game’s own app launcher the same way they did before the game released officially late in 2018.

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“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.”

Fortnite Apple iOS App Store GOogle Play Store Epic games

Epic Game’s in-game purchase method was also a lot cheaper than both Google Play and the Apple. Users could save $3 on a 1000 V-Bucks purchase. Users who currently have the game downloaded on their Androids and iPhones can still use them as per usual. However, deleting them will result in you losing the game until they arrive back on the store.

How long will the games be gone for? We don’t know. Soon after all this went down, Epic Games issued a lawsuit to both Apple and Google for unfair marketplace treatment. This whole situation highlights the bigger issues surrounging both Google and Apple when it comes to games and purchases around the world. Apple, in particular is going to have to find a solution to this problem sooner than later. Many of their policies have held developers at randsom making it impossible to release apps on iOS. Microsoft xCloud, for example, was recently denied due to it relying on a library of games within the app.

Hold tight, this is going to get very interesting.

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