Fortnite, goodbye to Android and iPhone smartphones: here’s why

The Fornite app has been removed from the Google Play Store and the App Store and can no longer be downloaded: what's happening

If you can't find Fortnite in the App Store or the Google Play Store, it's not the fault of your smartphone, but the app was removed in the evening between August 13 and 14 by Apple and Google. In the space of a few hours a real earthquake broke out that will have repercussions on the entire mobile application industry. What happened? It's a rather complex issue that has been going on since the day Epic Games decided to bring Fortnite to Android and Apple smartphones.

To make it simple, Epic Games yesterday released a new payment method available for the Fortnite app that violates the rules imposed by Google and Apple. This violation has inevitably led to a drastic decision by the two giants: via Fornite from the Google Play Store and the App Store. The application can no longer be downloaded on the smartphone. What happens to those who already have Fortnite on their smartphone? For the moment they will be able to continue using it, but in the coming hours there may be news in this regard as well.

Why you can no longer download Fortnite on your Android smartphone and iPhone

The issue is much more complex than we have painted it so far and needs to be explained thoroughly. If in the last few hours there has been a sudden acceleration in the war between Epic Games vs Apple and Google, in reality the diatribe starts from much further back, that is, when the developer of Fornite decided to bring the video game on mobile.

Epic Games has never hidden that it does not share the policy of Google and Apple on the division of profits generated by the applications. All developers who publish an app on the Play Store or the App Store must pay a fee of 30% of the revenues produced. A percentage that Epic Games has always considered too high. But in order not to lose a slice of users who play and make purchases on Fortnite via smartphones and tablets has so far respected the rules imposed by the two U.S. giants.

This until yesterday evening (August 13, 2020, ed), when with a statement on its website announced the arrival of a new feature for the mobile app: the direct payment for the purchase of V-Bucks, the virtual currency of Fornite with which to buy emotes and skins. Using the new payment method, in addition to getting a 20% discount on the final price (€7.99 instead of €9.99 to buy 1000 V-Bucks), the user (and Epic Games) don't pay the 30% "tax" to Google and Apple.

The new tool, however, violates the rules of the two online stores and first Apple and then Google decided to immediately remove the app, triggering a series of reactions and counter-reactions.

Epic Games vs Google and Apple, the war ends up in court

The explanation of Apple and Google is very simple: Epic Games has violated the rules respected by all developers and for this reason the Fortnite app has been removed from the Google Play Store and App Store. The response of Epic Games was not long in coming (and most likely it was ready long ago): it sued Apple and Google for dominance. Now the diatribe between Epic Games, Google and Apple will end up in court and could mark a historic turning point for the entire mobile app industry.

Epic Games has also launched a campaign on social media with the hashtag #FreeFortnite that in a few hours has collected thousands and thousands of posts. In an article published on the official blog of the video game, Epic Games invites players to send messages to the official account of the AppStore using the hashtag and asking for more freedom for developers.

Fortnite deleted from the App Store and Google Play Store: what changes for users

An earthquake that will have strong repercussions on the entire mobile sector and that in the coming days will be enriched by new episodes. But the most important aspect concerns gamers: what will change after Google and Apple's decision?

The first thing to be said concerns the possibility of continuing to play from the smartphone. We have to be clear on this point: those who have already downloaded the app will be able to continue playing on their smartphone without any problem, at least for the time being. Apple, however, has announced that users will no longer be able to update the Fornite app or even play the next season of the video game, the fourth one in Chapter 2.

The situation for Android users is a bit different. Those who downloaded the app from the Google Play Store will no longer receive app updates, as is the case for iOS users. But on Android, the Fortnite app can be downloaded directly from the Epic Games store, bypassing this limitation.

Where you can still download Fortnite

The fight between Epic Games, Apple and Google only concerns the mobile app. All players can still download the app for the computer, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac, GeForce Now, and from Epic Games' store for Android smartphones.