Epic Games and Google are butting heads in what continues to be the technology version of a DragonBall Z fight with similar levels of shouting and far less interesting action. According to reporting from The Verge, Google is denying Epic’s request to make the Android version of Fortnite exempt from the Google Play Store’s standard 30% cut on in-app transactions.
A statement from Google explains that the 30% slice off the top from app microtransactions lets the company “invest in [the] platform and tools to help developers build successful businesses while keeping users safe.” Epic, in turn, released a statement saying that it’s less about money and more about trying to break the industry standard in favor of games makers.
“We have asked that Google not enforce its publicly stated expectation that products distributed through Google Play use Google’s payment service for in-app purchase. We believe this form of tying of a mandatory payment service with a 30% fee is illegal in the case of a distribution platform with over 50% market share.”
Google countered that Epic did not ask Apple for the same exemption of the App Store’s 30% cut for Fortnite’s iOS version, and repeated that the fee funds features like app promotion, technical testing and analytics tools, and security and hosting services.
This is just the latest chapter in what has been a long-running tantrum between Epic and Google over Fortnite on Android. The same complaint over money was brought up by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney in August 2018, which was then walked back by Sweeney later that same week in favor of an argument for “more openness.” Fortnite Android would later be released by Epic Games on its own, but it did so with a giant security hole that was later patched up. Fake versions of the game have also been a popular delivery system for malware.
You can catch up on the whole goofball affair in our previous reporting.