When Fortnite first came to Android platforms, Epic Games chose a seemingly odd way for users to download it. Rather than use the Google Play Store, Epic instead had gamers visit the Fortnite website and download it there. It appears strange at first – until you realize that it allowed them to avoid Google’s standard 30% tax on in-app purchases.
Even so, according to reports, Epic has recently submitted Fortnite Mobile to be added to the storefront. However, they did so with an added request that Google waive the usual tax for them. That was apparently too much for the tech giant, as Google has publicly confirmed that they have denied this request. As such, Fortnite will not appear on the Play Store. At least, not yet.
Epic and Google’s bickering continues
This is not the first time Epic Games and Google have clashed with one another over Fortnite Mobile. Early this year, hackers discovered an exploit in the Fortnite downloader that allowed them to add malware to many Android users’ devices. Epic quickly patched the bug but requested that Google hold off on informing the public about it – a request Google ignored completely, much to the ire of Epic and its CEO, Tim Sweeney.
Now the two companies are at it again, with Sweeney again feeling that Google is doing things wrong. According to a statement Epic provided to The Verge:
“Epic doesn’t seek a special exception for ourselves; rather we expect to see a general change to smartphone industry practices in this regard. […] We believe this form of tying of a mandatory payment service with a 30% fee is illegal in the case of a distribution platform with over 50% market share.”
Whether this sentiment is genuine or simply a cover for Epic’s greed, it now leaves these two groups at a standstill. Google doesn’t seem likely to budge on the issue – not with the kind of money that tax could let them earn from Fortnite Mobile. Epic also seems intent on standing its ground.
Only time will tell if things will change between the tech giant and the gaming giant. Either way, we probably won’t see Fortnite come to the Google Play Store for a while.