If you played Fortnite on a mobile device a few months ago, then the sudden removal of Fortnite from the two biggest app stores, the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, almost certainly made it harder for you to play the game that way. Depending on your device of choice, it might not even have been possible. However, Google has recently announced changes to android related to the debacle.
Fortnite removed from mobile app stores
The company behind Fortnite, Epic Games, stated that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store both represented monopolies within their territories, with Apple being the more egregious of the two. With Apple, the monopoly was explicit, no app can be installed on an iOS device without going through the Apple App Store, and paying Apple 30% of the revenue.
With Android, however, the monopoly was more circumstantial. The problem lay in the fact that the Google Play Store came installed on android devices, and few users saw reason to install another one, which made it almost impossible for healthy competition to arise.
Because the 30% cost was levied against developers instead of customers, customers didn’t feel pressured to move at all.
For both of these stores, however, the implication was clear. Fortnite would have to pay Google and Apple 30% of the revenue made on android or iOS devices, or they would simply not be allowed to operate on their markets. This is what led Epic to patch in direct payment, and what led Google and Apple to pull the game from their stores.
Google changes how androids work
While it might seem like Google could simply sit back and ignore the issue while Apple and Epic fight it out, Google recently announced that they were going to initiate changes to the android operating system that should make it easier for other app stores to operate on android devices.
However, they did this while reaffirming their demanded 30% take on apps within the Google Play Store. Android devices were already open, unlike their iOS counterparts, which is why Fortnite can still be installed and played on Android phones despite not being on the market.
It’s not known whether or not these changes will result in actual competition with the tech giant, as the availability of other markets never seemed to be the issue. Nevertheless, it is a change worth being aware of, especially if Epic should decide to make an android version of the Epic Games Store.Published 30 Sep 2020, 00:43 IST