Fornite has been out of the Play Store and App Store for few days. Apple and Google have successively withdrawn it from their stores. This follows Epic Games’s decision to launch its own in-app payment solution. The editor’s response was swift. A big conflict is now launched between the protagonists.
Since the launch of Fornite on smartphones, Epic Games seemed to have the perfect love affair with Apple, unlike Google. The game was unavailable on the Play Store for a long time before making its debut there earlier this year. And yet iOS gamers could download it from the App Store since 2018. The infamous 30% Play Store commission that was the subject of contention also existed at Apple. This double standard has just shattered. Complaining of a stab in the back, the Cupertino Company banned Fortnite from the App Store on August 13 and was followed hours later by Google.
Why was Fortnite removed from the Google Play Store and the App Store?
On the same day, Epic Games integrated its own payment solution into Fornite on iOS and Android, at the same time offering a 20% discount on the purchase of V-Buks. By doing so, the publisher avoids paying 30% of its income into commissions, which lowers the final price borne by Google and Apple. Apple’s reaction was immediate: Fortnite was simply banned from the App Store for reasons Apple explains in a statement.
“Epic enabled a feature in their app that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the intention of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that ‘apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,’ Apple said. As a result, the Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Google made the same decision in the wake of banning the game from the Play Store, for the same reason.
“Although Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it accessible from the Play Store because it violates our policies”, explains Google for its part. Clearly, neither the Mountain View firm, nor Apple are ready to do without their royalties, the percentage of which is deemed indecent by developers. Apple has been the subject of an antitrust investigation for several weeks. A member of the US Congress was quick to call the firm a highwayman. To him, the 30% commission on App Store purchases is simply theft.
Epic Games strikes back It seems that the firm had already prepared its move. The company has just filed a complaint against Apple and Google and launched a communication campaign in the wake, openly attacking the Cupertino Company. In a 48-second video, the publisher parodies Apple’s famous 1984 commercial for the first Macintosh. This committed advertisement was the ideal medium to strengthen the echo of the protest.