The Game "Fortnite" Also Has been Kicked Off from Google Play Store

Following its elimination from the Apple App Store, Fortnite has also been hit out off of the Google Play Store for Android phones. Earlier today, Epic Games snuck in an update for both the iPhone and Android variations of the game that allowed users to cover Epic straight for in-app purchases instead of working with the officially sanctioned system for both platforms.

The Game "Fortnite" Also Has been Kicked Off from Google Play Store
The Game "Fortnite" Also Has been Kicked Off from Google Play Store

What followed was a rough ride: Apple kicked Fortnite off the App Store, then Epic sued Apple, and eventually there was an in-game video parodying Apple's very own 1984 commercial, positioning Apple itself as the monopolist.

Now, Google is in the discussion. Much like Apple, Google demands that games utilize the Google Play system for in-app purchases. Although the Play Store's principles are somewhat laxer than Apple's as it comes to in-app purchases, Google does draw the line at games. It is very clear-cut: Developers providing products inside a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content needs appropriate Google Play In-app Billing since the method of payment, Google's system carries around 33% decrease, as Apple's does.


Epic's update earlier today ran afoul of the rule, and while Google took more to choose to ban Fortnite more than Apple, both companies reached the same conclusion.


Google's statement:


The open Android ecosystem developers can distribute apps through multiple app stores. For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and maintain the store safe for users. While Fortnite stays on Android, we can't make it accessible on Play since it simplifies our policies. 


A Google spokesperson highlighted to The Verge that Android is an open ecosystem that allows multiple shops and that Google Play's policies need to apply evenly to all developers. It has no issue with those other shops existing nor with Epic dispersing its game on them, the spokesperson said.


You may still set up Fortnite on Android, however. Epic itself points visitors to its site, where they could either download Fortnite via the Epic Games app or via the Samsung Galaxy Store on all Samsung devices. This is different from iPhone and iPad, where it is now impossible to install the game in case you hadn't previously done so.


Epic includes a history of tussling with Google over this Play Store rule. In August 2018, Epic removed Fortnite from the Google Play Store and began sharing it directly with their customer. That's only possible because Android enables installing from third-party sources, though it does make this process seem somewhat dangerous because of the safety warnings that arise when you do.


Around eighteen months later, Epic capitulated and put Fortnite back into the Google Play Store, although not without some quite angry rhetoric about it. Here is Epic's announcement from April 2020:


Google puts software downloadable outside Google Play in a drawback, through technical and business steps such as frightening, insistent security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive carrier arrangements and manufacturer and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third-party software resources as malware, and new attempts such as Google Play Protect to block software accessed outside the Google Play shop.


An app as popular as Fortnite actuality installed via other means -- especially other stores -- can lower the centrality of the Google Play Store on Android -- and maybe increase fragmentation. There are already competing stores -- Samsung is pushing its store greatly on its own Android devices, for example. But generally speaking, the Google Play Store has become the go-to program source for most people.


Epic is already actively encouraging users to also use the variant that arrives out of Samsung's store, telling users that they can get the discount that started this whole mess if they do.


If Epic can get users in the habit of utilizing other stores, that could mean users will start to want to utilize other stores for additional app installs. If you have used any current Samsung Galaxy phone, you have seen it offer the choice to deal with the installs for several significant apps. It might mean that Google may be able to skirt a monopoly problem with its own decision, it would assert that there is real competition for program shops on Android.


For only another gaming-related instance, look for Microsoft. Its future Game Pass Ultimate streaming service (you know it as an xCloud) will be available both on Google Play store and on Samsung’s Galaxy Store. Should you install it through Google Play, you will not have the ability to buy DLC articles for Xbox games due to the 30% cut. If you happen to install it via Samsung's shop, nevertheless, you can produce in-app purchases. Here's Microsoft's statement on the problem:


Our vision is to deliver a whole, full-featured encounter with in-app purchase capabilities to program stores. However, we're complying with all store policies and don't offer in-app purchases in some shops at this moment. To access whole, in-app purchase abilities, Samsung clients can download the Xbox Game Pass app from the Samsung Galaxy Store; SK Telecom consumers may also receive an entire experience through ONE Store.

(Meanwhile, Microsoft's game streaming service isn't allowed on the iPhone whatsoever -- and Microsoft is not pleased about that, either.)


Given Epic's outsized response to Apple's ban -- that the suit as well as the 1984 ad – it is a sure bet that the company will have a response to Google too. We will allow you to know what that's when it happens.

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