Google and Epic Games are squabbling over Fortnite’s Android fees – again

    
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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.

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Mewmew
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Mewmew

“Epic did not ask Apple for the same exemption of the App Store’s 30% cut for Fortnite’s iOS version”

That’s interesting. Why is it that they aren’t arguing and debating with Apple over the same percentage cut, especially since Apple were the ones that set the standard mobile cut price to begin with?

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3dom

There would be standing ovation among Android developers if Epic decided to create their own* app store or joined Amazon or Samsung stores. There should be marketplace store competition for Android, Google’s business practices are atrocious – like lifetime developer bans if you couldn’t update your apps with new features after Google has changed rules or ban by association after you’ve worked in a company with a spammer.

* from that I see in EGS Epic is incapable to develop anything substantial in timely manner. Not even simple “recommend / not recommend” user reviews system.

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Arktouros

Maybe Epic Game Store can make it’s own Google Play store competitor and buy out exclusives under the pretense it’s “creating competition” when all they’re really doing is creating a different monopoly except run by them so they can get their own % cut.

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Jeremy Barnes

Is there anyone that Epic *can* work well with?

Cyclone Jack
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Kickstarter Donor
Cyclone Jack

Perhaps if Epic invested in their own platform, they’d understand where Google is coming from. Anyone know if they’ve added a shopping cart yet? I know they had to get Gearbox to add pre-loading for them.

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Eamil

I broke my EGS embargo for Mechwarrior 5, the sole exception I will ever make.

Shopping cart nothing, EGS doesn’t tell you how much space a game will take up on your drive before you try to install it.

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Kickstarter Donor
Richard de Leon III

im waiting for the eventual steam release for MW5, and from what ive been reading in the forums its prolly a good thing im gonna be waiting a year til the bugs are squashed and mods become the norm.

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Patreon Donor
Connor

The Apple part of the equation is useless for Google to point to. Epic doesn’t have a choice with Apple other than to not publish on the iOS devices at all whereas they can always be sideloaded onto Android. And Fortnite is popular enough that people will seek it out to sideload it.

Also if Epic thinks that the 30% is illegal in this case, then sue Google and have it decided in court. Come on Epic, you sue 14 year olds for making Fortnite cheat videos. Put your money where your mouth is.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

The Apple part that Google is mentioning is exactly to argue that they can’t prevent Google from charging them to have their game on the Play Store, especially so they have the choice on android to sideload anyway (in contrast to iOS, where they don’t have a choice, so a court could rule on their favor)