As you most likely heard yesterday, following a new update to Fortnite that circumvented Apple’s rules for in-app purchases, Apple responded by kicking Fortnite out of their App Store. Evidently Google has decided to follow suit, as they have removed Fortnite from their own Google Play Store for Android.
Similarly to Apple, Google requires that Android apps use its own Google Play system for all in-app purchases. Google isn’t as strict as Apple when it comes to general apps, but they are just as strict when it comes to in-app purchases for games. The Play Store requires in-app purchases for games to go through the Google Play billing system. In addition, Google Play takes a 30% cut of these purchases, just like Apple.
A Google spokesperson gave the following statement to The Verge:
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.
What makes Google different from Apple is that Android allows users to utilize other avenues to purchase and download content. As the quote says above, “Fortnite remains available on Android” because users can access the game through the Epic Games app. If you have a Samsung device, there’s also the Samsung Galaxy Store option.
Back in 2018, Epic Games pulled Fortnite from the Google Play Store themselves over this rule, although they relented in April 2020. Now Google has turned the tables once more. We’ll see if Epic Games keeps their app off the Google Play Store entirely, especially since there are other methods to access the game on Android.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports as this Fortnite mobile drama develops.