Google doesn’t need Fortnite: the tech giant is refusing to exempt Fortnite from the Google Play Store’s 30% revenue split.
With every game sold on Android’s Google Play Store, Google takes a cut of 30% from all generated revenue. Game purchases and in-game microtransactions are all included in this 30% cut.
Epic Games has been releasing their battle royale phenomenon through their own independent Android launcher. However, while users can install the battle royale game fairly easily, it does require players to allow their phones to install applications from unknown sources, something which may make potential players uncomfortable.
Epic Games claims that Fortnite will arrive on Google’s platforms once the company removes the mandatory 30% revenue split for every developer.
“Epic doesn’t seek a special exception for ourselves; rather we expect to see a general change to smartphone industry practices in this regard,” Epic told The Verge.
“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.
We note that Google Play’s Developer Distribution Agreement (https://play.google.com/about/developer-distribution-agreement.html) does not require developers use Google payments. It merely references a number of non-contractual documents asking developers to do so.
Further, Epic operates a major PC storefront and payment service and we do not force developers using our store to use our payment ecosystem.”
Google has since responded, claiming that they refuse to exempt Fortnite from the Play Store’s 30% split.
“Android enables multiple app stores and choices for developers to distribute apps,” the company told the same outlet. “Google Play has a business model and billing policy that allow us to invest in our platform and tools to help developers build successful businesses while keeping users safe,” a Google spokesperson tells The Verge. “We welcome any developer that recognizes the value of Google Play and expect them to participate under the same terms as other developers.”