Drama Looms as Fortnite Gets Kicked off Both Google and Apple App Stores

Image courtesy Epic Games

It all started as a fun announcement from Fortnite developers Epic Games and has now turned into lawsuits and parody videos.

Epic Games has been trying to implement a workaround to duck Apple’s and Google’s hefty developer fees. This is why the company earlier this week announced that it would be adding a new direct payment option for in-game currency (V-Bucks) on mobile.

This, according to Fortnite, would offer an enticing 20% discount for players who pay the company for its virtual money. But it would also make sure that Epic Games stop handing that money over to intermediaries i.e., Apple and Google.

Well, it seems that the news didn’t sit well with Apple as they were the first to immediately axe the game form App Store. According to Apple, this new option was nothing but a direct violation of App Store rules.

“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,” partly reads the statement from Apple.

This was followed by a series of events all of which have been full of drama against the tech company. Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney attacked Apple repeatedly in recent tweets over the relegation. He described Apple’s decisions deliberately anti-competitive and declared that Apple has “outlawed the metaverse”.

The spicy part came when Fortnite posted a parody video evoking authoritarianism and Apple’s own iconic 1984 Macintosh commercial.

Google also seemed to be the slow ones but eventually had to pick up on it as they just got rid of the game from the Play Store.

In a statement, Google justified its decision to axe Fortnite, saying: “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.”

Unfortunately, Epic has stopped taking this as a classic case of pettiness and filed lawsuits against Google and Apple. The company cites that this is not about violating policies but rather firms using their size to do evil upon its competitors.

It is only a matter of time until we see how all this drama unfolds.

Fortnite is still available on Android, just not through Google Play Store. On its website, Epic directs players to a direct download via a QR code. The game is also available through Samsung’s Galaxy Store on supported devices.

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