Epic Games’ Request To Exempt Play Store Billing System For Fortnite Mobile Was Denied By Google

Epic Games’ Request To Exempt Play Store Billing System For Fortnite Mobile Was Denied By Google
Credit: Fortnite

Back in 2018, Fortnite made its first mobile debut alongside the Galaxy Note 9. Some rumors noted that it would make its way to Play Store even before its release. As of this day, one still has to download it off the official Epic Games website or the Galaxy store.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny did state that Epic’s reason for staying off Play Store was due to Google’s 30% tax on all in-app purchases. With the popularity of Fortnite, the game is probably making serious bank, and it’s not feasible to blame Epic Games on its choice to not want to share its revenue with Google.

While this may be beneficial to Fortnite, there are obvious disadvantages to not hosting an app on the Play Store. A considerable amount of Android users depend on the Play Store for their apps, and it’s difficult to use another third-party source. Even though the official website is safe with bit-encryption, some folks out there would want to spy and hijack players seeking to enjoy the game on their Android phones.

However, Google, on the other hand, had something cooking. They went ahead, notifying android users that Fortnite was not officially available on the Play Store. But it seemed that Epic Games did want Fortnite to be on the Play Store at some time. To emphasize, a particular source told 9to5google that the company appealed to Google to host Fortnite, minus the usual 30% Google’s tax. The reason being Epic Games wanting to host their payment gateway instead of Google pay

Interestingly, here’s what Google replied:

‘The Android ecosystem has multiple app stores and other platforms for developers to distribute their apps. On the other hand, Google Play has a business model and billing policy that allow us to focus and reinvest in our platform and tools to empower developers to build a successful business while keeping users safe. On that note, we welcome any developer that recognizes the value of Google Play and expect them to follow the terms and conditions as other developers.’

At first, it was somewhat optimistic for Epic Games to think Google would agree with them to exempt them and allow them to integrate their payment portal was far-fetched. Because other big game publishers like Tencent and Supercell had to abide to Google’s Play Store rules, so it isn’t much of a surprise that Google denied Epic Game’s appeal. Besides, publishers/developers not using the Play Store’s billing system is a direct violation of Google’s policies.

The best Epic Game could do, is to negotiate with Google to probably reduce the 30% to a lesser figure, then they may work with that. Or they partner with a new OS and host their games on the new platform; this move would be a direct competition on Google Play Store, which could be another industry disrupt.

Optimistically, both companies come to a final agreement that favors both parties. Considering the amount players spend on Fortnite, these should be a hard deal to make with Google.