NEW DELHI: Google has removed popular battle royale game, Fortnite, from the Play Store for violating its policies. The move comes less than a day after Apple took the game off its App Store, and both companies have cited the same reason for disallowing the game from their respective stores.
The issue began when Epic Games snuck in an update to its game, which allows gamers to pay the game’s publisher directly instead of using Apple and Google’s built in payments systems. Both companies require apps to use their built in tools for payments, and pay the companies a cut off the purchases. By using its own system, Epic Games is bypassing the same.
“The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple 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,” Google said in a statement.
The problem here though is much larger than an app simply being pulled off the stores. Apple and Google have both been criticized for having too much power over the Internet ecosystems, and their respective app stores are an important part of that. The two companies also appeared before an antitrust subcommittee of the United States Congress, for how they may be affecting the growth of other companies.
Apple, in particular, has been criticized by many companies for charging a 30% commission on purchases made through the App Store. Music streaming giant, Spotify, had approached the European Commission earlier over the issue as well.
According to data from analytics firm Sensor Tower, Fortnite saw approximately 2.4 million installs in the last 30 days and generated $43.4 million on the App Store through consumer spending. On Google Play, the game has received a little over 11 million installs and generated $10 million in spending worldwide.