Last week, Fortnite was removed from the Play Store. That surprising decision was catastrophic for Epic Games. The studio publishes the complaint against Google for abuse of dominance. Epic Games claims to have signed partnerships with LG and OnePlus. But Google would have intervened to encourage brands to abandon their agreement.
The conflict is raging between Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, and the publishers of the two major Smartphone operating systems, Apple and Google. Last week, Fortnite is not available on Google Play Store. Google has decided to remove the game’s installation file from its store. Earlier, Apple did the same on the App Store, depriving millions of potential gamers of access to the game, taking relatively badly the official arrival of Fortnite on Android after a long period of exclusivity on iOS.
As a result of Fortnite’s removal from the Play Store, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Google. A relatively similar complaint has also been filed by Epic against Apple. The game publisher accuses the two firms of anti-competitive practices (which will give ground to grind to investigators who closely study the application stores). But there was a nugget lurking in Epic’s complaint against Google: The creator of Fortnite says Google has pressured smartphone makers to drop any potential partnership with Fortnite, information reported by The Verge.
No installation and alternative payments from Fortnite
Specifically, Epic Games had signed agreements with LG and OnePlus. Under the terms, the two manufacturers were to preinstall an application called Epic Games through which the user can install games, apply updates and purchase content. (All without going through the Play Store; but using the secure payment system set up by Epic). In both cases, Google would have intervened with brands to dissuade them from installing them. OnePlus has reportedly received approval to retain the Epic app, but only on models intended for the Indian market.
This is only a single episode in the great saga between the service editors (here Epic, but Spotify and Netflix are also concerned) and the two American giants. Apple, as well as Google, charges developers and publishers a 30% commission on sales of products and services. In addition, the two firms prevent them from integrating another means of payment under penalty of being banned from their stores. While it is still possible to install an APK on an Android smartphone, this is not the case with iOS, which prevents any installation of a download from anywhere other than the App Store.