“Fortnite” players have been drawn into an off-screen battle between the company behind the popular videogame, Epic Games Inc., and tech giants Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Here is a look at what’s involved in the dispute.
What is the fight about?
Apple and Google on Thursday pulled “Fortnite” from the App Store and Google Play, respectively, after Epic Games introduced a new in-game payment system that would skirt the 30% fee certain developers are required to pay the companies for in-app purchases.
In response, Epic Games sued Apple and Google in federal court, accusing them of monopolistic behavior over how they distribute apps to devices and process payments for digital content. Apple and Google have defended their business practices, saying the commission fees are necessary because of the services the stores provide, including security and safeguarding user privacy.
Epic has argued for marketplaces to lower fees on app developers. It has also called for Apple to open up to competition in the iOS app distribution market.
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Does this mean I can’t play “Fortnite” on my phone?
Not necessarily, but you’ll only be able to continue playing “Fortnite” if it was already installed on your iOS or Android device before the title was removed from the App Store and Google Play. The removal means players can’t download the game or receive app updates from those two app marketplaces. “Fortnite” is still available for download on Android devices through other app marketplaces. The spat doesn’t affect “Fortnite” gameplay on gaming consoles, PCs or Macs.
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