Apple and Google pull Fortnite from app stores, Epic Game charges

Fortnite maker Epic is now suing both Apple and Google after the tech giants removed the game from their digital marketplaces.

Fortnite developer Epic is suing Apple and Google after both pulled Epic’s hit game from their app stores over direct-payment disputes. As of right now, neither are allowing users to download and install Fortnite on phones through their digital marketplaces.

At the heart of the debate is whether Epic has the right to include a direct-payments service in its Fortnite app, bypassing Apple’s and Google’s payments systems and the up to 30% charge Apple and Google levy on each transaction.

Epic’s claim asserts that Apple has become a “behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and suppress innovation.”

“Apple is bigger, more powerful, more engrained and more malevolent than monopolies of yesteryear,” Epic says in the suit. “Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.”

Epic’s claim against Google accuses the tech giant of abandoning its idealistic roots and says Android’s claim that it’s an open ecosystem is a “broken promise.”

Apple earlier Thursday said it chose to remove Fortnite from its App Store because the game violated guidelines Apple says it applies equally to every developer and that are designed to keep the store safe.

“As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store,” Apple said in a statement, adding that it will work with Epic to resolve the issue. “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.”

Google also cited rule breaking by Epic as the reason it removed Fortnite from its digital marketplace. Consumers can still download the game on Android phones using other app stores, such as the Galaxy Store for Samsung devices.

“While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies,” a Google spokesperson said. “However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”

Apple’s and Google’s decisions to ban Fortnite from their respective app stores marks a dramatic growth in the debate between the tech giants, the developers that make programs for their devices, and regulators interested in examining it all. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android software together power nearly all the world’s mobile devices.

For now iOS, users who already have Fortnite downloaded on their device still appear to be able to use the app in full, including the new approach to in-game purchases.

Source: cnet.com

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