On Thursday, the giants Apple and hours later Google eliminated one of the most popular video games in the world at this time, Fortnite, from their stores, according to various media outlets such as Fox News. They argued that Epic Games, the game’s manufacturer, had violated the payment guidelines established by the download platforms.
Its removal from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store came after Fortnite bypassed the companies’ application payment systems because of high fees, encouraging users to pay directly to the games company.
While downloading and using Fortnite is free, users can purchase game accessories such as weapons and masks. On these purchases, both Apple and Google would get a 30% commission, which is a big problem for developers who consider it an inordinate amount.
The developer of the game, Epic Games, said in a publication on its official website on Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct Payments, a direct payment system for Apple’s iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PCs and Macs and Android phones. This system would reduce costs and avoid platform fees while maintaining the same level of security.
Apple and Google said the service violates their guidelines, and immediately removed the video game from their stores.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app that was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and it did so with the express intent of violating App Store guidelines regarding payments within the app that apply to all developers selling digital goods or services,” Apple told FOX Business in a statement.
Google said that Fortnite will still be available for use on Android, but will not be available for download through its app store. This means that users will have to look for alternative download sites.
Chinese firm Tencent owns 40% of Epic Games and given some of Apple’s recent problems with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), from charges of data theft in the company’s iCloud to Apple’s charges of exploiting workers in Chinese factories, as reported at the time by the Washington Post, it is believed that Thursday’s move against Apple may have been influenced by them.
However, Epic Games, which so far has only had contact with Fox Business, said Epic is a private U.S. company and Tim Sweeney is the majority shareholder of Epic Games, which oversees all business operations and has control of the board of directors.
The Fortnite fight now moves to court. Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple seeking to end its “anti-competitive restrictions in the mobile device markets.”
In a similar lawsuit against Google, Epic said it is filing “claims under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and under California law to end Google’s illegal monopolization and anti-competitive restrictions,” Fox Business reported.