In a rather surprising turn of events, it seems that both Apple and Google have decided to remove Epic Games’ Fortnite app from the App Store and Play Store. The shocking decision was made due to a recent update to the aforementioned mobile app which enables gamers to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases without having to use Apple or Google’s standard payment system.
Apple and Google Removes Fortnite Mobile App
Apple was the first company to remove Fortnite from the App Store. Soon after, Epic Games decided to sue the Cupertino giant and subsequently also released an in-game video, which apparently is a parody of Apple’s well-known 1984 commercial—portraying Apple as a monopolistic company.
To much surprise, Google too has removed the Fortnite app from the Play Store. The company mentioned that “while Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.” For those who may remember, this isn’t the first time the mobile game has been in the centre of ‘payment’ controversy. In 2018, Epic Games decided to not to release Fortnite from the Play Store due to the company disagreeing with Google’s “30% cut”. The mobile game was eventually released on the Play Store around eighteen months later.
The announcement from both Apple and Google may have serious implications for Epic Games with regards to growing its mobile player base. This is even more worrying for gamers on iOS, whereby there will not be any legitimate way of installing or receiving updates for Fortnite as a result of the app removal. Android users, on the other hand, will be able download the mobile game directly from Epic Games’ website.
There’s probably more to come from this ‘removal saga’. The massive user base that exists on Fortnite currently may indeed have the influence to overturn the decision made by Apple and Google. That being said, it could also be likely that Epic Games will withdraw its own in-app payment system and return to using payment systems that comply with the Apple and Google’s standards. We’ll see.