Earlier today, Fortnite was removed from the App Store, and now the game has also been removed from the Google Play Store. The move comes as a direct result of Epic Games adding a new update, where Fortnite players could pay the company directly for in-app purchases, at a lower cost. While Android users will likely be upset by the decision, Epic's update clearly breaks Google's rules. Specifically, Google's terms of service reads that "game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment." Epic is well aware of these rules and CEO Tim Sweeney has made it more than clear that he is unhappy with Apple and Google's policies.
At this time, neither Epic nor Google have directly commented on the removal, but it seems like only a matter of time, given the video that Epic released following Fortnite's removal from the App Store! It will be interesting to see whether or not Epic Games also has a similar video prepared for Google.
It seems quite likely that everything that has happened today was planned by Epic Games. Given the video, and the current #FreeFortnite campaign, it seems that the publisher knew ahead of time what the response from both Google and Apple might be. Sweeney has been outspoken about the policies of the two companies, and tried to avoid listing Fortnite on the Google Play Store as long as possible. Instead, Android users had to use an Installer program, so Epic could avoid paying a 30% fee on in-app purchases. Back in April, the game was finally added to the Google Play Store, but Epic was clearly unhappy. In a statement released at the time, the company claimed that Google puts companies that work around the Play Store at a disadvantage.
It's unclear which side will blink first. Right now, it seems that public perception is on Epic's side, but the longer that the games are unavailable on the two platforms, the unhappier gamers will be, and that could play a role in whatever happens next.
What do you think about the current Fortnite controversy? Do you think Apple and Google will change their policies? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!