Fortnite, the battle royale game from Epic Games, has been removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store on Thursday. The development is on the heels of the developer implementing its own in-app payment system on Fortnite that bypasses Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The Fortnite team on Thursday introduced the Epic direct payment system on iOS and Android packed with multiple security measures. The developers of the battle royale game highlighted that PayPal and Chase are among the payment partners for its e-commerce system.
Fortnite Removed from App Store
In a statement to The Verge, Apple said that “Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple." The company said that Epic Games “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 said that the Fortnite app was thus removed from the App Store but that company would “work with Epic to resolve these violations.”
Following the development, Epic Games provided a series of responses that included a video where it asked its fans to “join the fight” against Apple. The developer behind the popular battle royale game also took a legal action to “end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces.”
In a blog post, Epic Games said that Apple had asked the developer to “remove the ‘Epic direct payment’ feature” while blocking Fortnite from the App Store.
“Apple is keeping prices high so they can collect 30% of your payments, and is blocking Fortnite in order to prevent Epic from passing on the savings from direct payments to you,” Epic Games said in a blog post.
Crucially, Epic Games said that the Fortnite users will not be able to play the new season dubbed as “Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 4” on iOS as Apple has blocked the “ability to update.” The developer said that the existing players who have already downloaded the Fortnite app “should have no issues continuing to play Chapter 2 - Season 3’s 13.40 update.” However, Epic Games said that players accessing Fortnite after Season 4 release will not be able to access the new content or new Battle Pass but can only play the 13.40 version.
Google Removes Fortnite App for Play Store
Similarly, Google in its statement to The Verge highlighted that the company has “consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users.” Google said that the Fortnite remains available on Android but that the company can “no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.”
Unlike iOS, it has to be noted that the users can continue to install Fortnite on Android through the Epic Games App and through the Samsung Galaxy Store. The developer on its part filed a lawsuit against Google.
Crucially, Epic Games' lawsuit against Google also highlights that the developer was “forced” to “renege on the deal” with OnePlus. It has to be noted that Epic struck a deal with OnePlus that enabled users of OnePlus devices to install apps belonging to the Epic stable directly bypassing Google Play Store. The agreement between OnePlus and Epic also led to the developer unveiling a special version of Fortnite for select OnePlus devices to run the game at the “stage-of-art framerate.”
“Google demanded that OnePlus not implement its agreement with Epic with the limited exception of mobile devices sold in India,” Epic said in its lawsuit against Google. “OnePlus informed Epic that Google was ‘particularly concerned that the Epic Games app would have ability to potentially install and update multiple games with a silent install bypassing the Google Play Store.’”
It was also highlighted that another OEM, LG was said to have told Epic that it had a contract with Google “to block side downloading off Google Play Store this year.” Further, it was said that LG told Epic that it could “surely” make its games available to its users “if the Google Play Store were used.”