Following Apple, Google Kicks Fortnite off the Google Play Store

Android users can still download Fortnite despite its removal from the Google Play Store via the Epic Games App

Today’s Fortnite news isn’t over yet. Just a few hours ago, the free-to-play battle royale was removed from Google’s Play Store, just like it was removed from Apple’s App Store.

Going back to the beginning of today’s debacle, Fortnite snuck in an update for its iOS and Android versions that allowed players to circumvent built-in systems for in-app purchases. Instead, players would have the option to pay Epic directly for their v-bucks.

If you missed what followed, here’s the rundown. Apple removed Fortnite from its App Store, then Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple to “end Apple’s unfair and anti-competitive actions that Apple undertakes to unlawfully maintain its monopoly in two distinct, multibillion-dollar markets,” those being the App Store and what the suit refers to as “the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market.”

As if that wasn’t enough, Epic went on to parody Apple’s iconic 1984-style ad for the Macintosh home computer with a new Fortnite event. It was at this point that my managing editor Logan and I began to go a bit mad.

But now that’s old news, from when Fortnite was still available on Google’s Play Store. The reason for that removal is, unsurprisingly, the same as Apple’s. Here’s a statement from Google regarding the game’s removal.

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.

The similarities between the tech giants don’t end at removing Fortnite, as they’ve also both had lawsuits filed against them by Epic. Google’s suit came tonight, just hours after Apple’s.

Android users however have come out better than Apple users in this situation. While Fortnite is no longer available on the Google Play Store, Epic is pointing to the Epic Games App and the Samsung Galaxy Store. Via these two marketplaces, players can not only download the game but also purchase v-bucks at a lower rate.

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Otto Kratky

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