Fortnite released a direct payment plan that bypasses Google and Apple, which is in clear violation of both companies’ policies. Apple and Google both take a thirty percent share from the in-app revenues in games offered on their platforms.
On Thursday, Fortnite launched a new update with direct payment feature that lets users pay directly to the game’s developers for any in-app purchases made. The company has provided users with an option to either continue with the regular method of in-app payment or pay directly to Epic games, offering a thirty percent discount to users who chose the latter option.
This, however, violated Apple’s established policy that apps must make a collection of revenue possible only through Apple and pay the company 30 percent of the total revenue earned. Apple first removed the game from their App Store and was quickly followed by Google.
Regarding the issue, Apple officials have said in a statement, “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.”
Although Google has removed the game from the Play Store, it can be downloaded on to Android devices from other platforms. For instance, Fortnite’s website and Samsung’s own app store are still offering the game for download.
“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use our Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users.”
“While Fortnite still 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,” said a statement from Google.
Why is Epic suing Google?
After the removal of Fortnite from the Apple and Google app stores, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the two companies, calling them out for their “anti-competitive policies”.
In its lawsuit against Google, Epic said, “We do not seek monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries suffered. Epic likewise do not seek a side deal or favourable treatment from Google. Instead, we seek injunctive relief that would deliver Google’s broken promise: an open, competitive Android ecosystem for all users and industry participants. Such injunctive relief is sorely needed.”