The consequences of circumventing the rules of the major mobile app stores do not end for Epic Games. With the legal battle between the video game developer and Apple still going on – due to Epic’s appeal – now it’s Google’s turn. The company behind Android has filed a lawsuit against the creators of Fortnite.
Google claims in its legal action that Epic Games “intentionally violated” the rules of the Play Store by adding in Fortnite an independent payment system. In this way, it allowed the purchase of content within the game at a discount and without paying the corresponding commissions from the application store.
Those from Mountain View also point out that those who downloaded Fortnite from the Play Store before it was removed for violating the rules, in August 2020, they can still use the payment system that bypasses Google’s fees and, as a consequence, they continue to avoid paying “the rates agreed by contract”.
Likewise, Google ensures that, unlike Apple, Android developers are not required to use the Play Store for their apps to reach users. “They choose to use it when given a choice between Android app stores and distribution channels,” it says in the lawsuit.
The complex landscape of Epic Games and Google
That is, the creators of Android do not prevent developers from distributing applications through channels other than the Play Store. But, yes, if they decide to use their store, they require them to respect the policies of the same, something that Epic Games did not do when it updated Fornite with “Mega drop“in August 2020 with your own payment method.
Consequently, Google removed Fortnite from the Play Store -Apple also did the same in the App Store-, and later forced OnePlus to break an agreement it had reached with Epic Games that contemplated the sale of its 8 series smartphones with the game pre-installed and offered “Epic” graphics levels.
Since then, Fortnite It is not available in the Play Store. Users who want to play this game have the ability to download it from the launcher from Epic Games, available on the developer’s website or on the Samsung Galaxy Store.
In the case of Apple there is no such alternative. The Cupertino company does not allow the download and installation of applications outside of its application store. In this sense, the flagship game of Epic Games could take up to five years to return.