Fortnite has just been banned by Apple and Google from their app stores. The game is no longer available to download from Google Play and Apple App Store. The decision was taken after Epic Games violated the store guidelines for both iOS and Android ecosystems. The game is still online but players won’t be able to download new updates in the coming weeks. Epic Games has currently sued both Apple and Google for holding a monopoly over their app stores. Also Read - OnePlus announces partnership with Epic Games for an enhanced Fortnite experience
The move comes after Epic Games introduced its own payment system in the game. Epic has long been protesting the 30 per cent commission on purchases made via the official app stores. In order to bypass the extra cost, the company brought forward its own payment system for purchasing in-game items. However, it violated the Google Play and App Store guidelines, resulting in removal of the game from the store. Also Read - Fortnite becomes one of the biggest games ever with 350 million players
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As a result, Epic Games won’t be able to push updates to Fortnite via these app stores. On Android, an Epic Games launcher is available for players to sideload the updates. However, players on iPhones and iPads won’t be able to get the new updates. Those who wish to re-install the game won’t be able to do so via the app stores. Hence, Android users will have to rely on the Epic Games launcher while iPhone users need to wait for the case to conclude. Also Read - Star Wars characters and items come back to Fortnite for a brief time; Here is everything we know
Epic Games files lawsuits
In retaliation to the bans, Epic Games has filed lawsuits against both Apple and Google. The company accuses both the parties of holding a monopoly over the app stores. It says that such kind of monopoly over apps and games is anti-competitive. You can read an excerpt of the lawsuit filed against Apple below.
“Epic brings this suit to 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(each as defined below),” reads the complaint.
“Apple is able to unlawfully condition access to the App Store on the developer’s use of a second product—In-App Purchase—for in-app sales of in-app content. Through its Developer Agreement and unlawful policies, Apple expressly conditions the use of its App Store on the use of its In-App Purchase to the exclusion of alternative solutions in a per se unlawful tying arrangement,” it says further.
For the Google lawsuit, Epic starts by saying, “Twenty-two years later, Google has relegated its motto to nearly an afterthought and is using its size to do evil upon competitors, innovators, customers, and users in a slew of markets it has grown to monopolize.”
Moreover, Epic Games released a video mocking the famous 1984 commercial from Apple. It has also created a hashtag #FreeFortnite, asking its followers to joins its fight defeating the monopoly of the giants.
Statements from Apple, Google
Apple in its statement 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.”
Google, meanwhile, 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.”