Fortnite has been removed from the Google Play Store

Image Credit: Epic Games
Image Credit: Epic Games
Brittany Vincent

Just hours after Fortnite was removed from Apple's App Store, the massively popular battle royale game has been unceremoniously kicked off of the Google Play Store for Android as well. This effectively means that playing Fortnite via either iPhone or Android right now may not be possible for millions of players across the globe.

This removal marks the beginning of a potentially lengthy legal battle between Epic Games, Apple, and now Google as the trio have become entangled within a fight regarding Fortnite's in-app purchases and the percentage of earnings the App Store and Google Play Store are able to take from sales.

Google removes Fortnite from its platform

Image Credit: Epic Games
Image Credit: Epic Games

Currently, Fortnite is no longer available on either the App Store or the Google Play Store. Google is the next in line to have removed Fortnite based on Epic Games' willful refusal to adhere to the pay structures in place for the games on both online app stores.

Earlier today, Epic Games debuted an update for the iPhone and Android versions of Fortnite's mobile version. It was meant to give users the choice of paying Epic Games directly for any V-Bucks or in-app purchases instead of going through either the App Store or Google Play Store.

This update was meant to allow players avoid paying extra cash for their purchases that Epic Games enacts in response to having to pay both Apple and Google a 30 percent cut off its earnings from each purchase. This didn't sit well with Apple in particular, as the tech giant removed the app from its App Store a short time after this new "direct pay" system debuted.

Apple shared the following statement on the matter to The Verge:

"Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services."
"Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem - including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store."

Following Google's decision to remove Fortnite from the Google Play Store, the search and tech company also released its own statement.

"The open Android ecosystem lets developers 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 keep the store safe for users. While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play."

Epic Games released a statement as well as its own legal filings via Twitter for curious parties to skim over.

Things are likely going to get very messy if this case ends up making its way to the Supreme Court.

Fortnite is still available outside of the Google Play Store

If you're concerned you won't be able to play Fortnite via Android, the Google Play Store isn't the only place you can expect to find it. As Epic Games has pointed out, Fortnite is still available via the developer's official website.

You can install Fortnite by way of the Epic Games app or by using the Samsung Galaxy Store on certain Samsung phones. This same thing can't happen for iOS users, but if you have Android, at least you have something of a workaround.

At present, if you want to play Fortnite and aren't comfortable installing it manually on your Android device, you may want to play the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, or PC version instead while these issues continue to rumble forward.

Edited by Brittany Vincent


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