Will Google give Fortnite a special exemption? Is Google going to reduce its 30 per cent fee?

Fortnite is a free multiplayer game where you compete in Battle Royale, collaborate to create your private island, or quest to Save The World. It is an online video game developed by Epic Games which was released in 2017. Fortnite: Save the World, Fortnite Battle Royale, and Fortnite Creative are the three different game mode versions of the game. Save the World is not yet available on Android and iOS devices. Battle Royale has been the biggest success amongst the three, becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Currently, Google and Epic Games are in an altercation about the 30 per cent fee that the company demands from applications in the Google Play Store. 

Epic has been distributing Fortnite independently on Android since its launch in August 2018. While Fortnite is available on iOS, it is not yet available on Google Play Store which is considered the most secure digital distribution platform for Android. Epic has been showing intent to publish Fortnite on Play Store but they are asking for an exemption from the 30 per cent mandatory fee that Google demands. They want to evade the 30 per cent cut on all in-app transactions.

V-bucks, Battle Pass, and costumes and skins that the user has to buy are the ingredients that help Fortnite make huge sums of money even after being free.

In an official statement to The Verge, Epic has mentioned that it is not only seeking an exemption for itself but want an overall change. It wants Google to not enforce Google’s payment services for in-app purchases. It believes that a platform that has over 50 per cent market share should not take 30 per cent fee in today’s time. It is illegal. In the statement, Epic referred to Google Play’s Developer Distribution Agreement to strengthen its argument. Epic also mentions that even they do not force developers that use their stores to use their payment gateway only. 

Unfortunately for Epic, Google is not on the same page with them. Google pointed out that Epic has not asked for such exemption from Apple. Epic must be paying the 30 per cent fee to Apple since Fortnite has been available in the Apple store. Most importantly, Google mentions that Google Play’s business model and billing policy corresponds with the security it provides to users while helping developers in promoting their businesses. It also provides other benefits to the users like providing technical testing, drive discovery, and more.

As of now, Google is not giving Epic Games any special exemption, and only time will tell whether Epic will succumb to Google’s monopoly. 

Varsha is responsible for publishing news on Bugle24. She entered into the world of tech right after she completed her post-graduate. She has been associated with some of the known tech blogs like SmartTabloid, AdMarvels, The First Post, and more. Having worked with plenty of newspapers, she finally chose to commit her time to Bugle24. With over four years of experience, Varsha boasts expertise in Electric Vehicles, apps, wearables, and smart energy.


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