Fortnite has been booted off Google’s app store after creators added their own payment system into the game instead of Google’s.
The move follows an identical ban from Apple’s iOS platform on Thursday evening, in an escalating dispute about the 30% cut developers have to sacrifice from in-app payments in order for their apps to be hosted on the two companies’ app stores.
Although Fortnite is free to download, players can choose to buy virtual cosmetic items within the game, a vital source of revenue for software makers.
Both tech giants have rules for apps hosted on their stores, meaning that purchases made within an app must be done through Apple or Google’s respective payment system, which carries a fee.
Fortnite is still available to Android users by downloading it from Epic’s website directly – a workaround Apple does not allow – but people are generally advised to avoid downloading apps outside of the Google Play Store in case they carry viruses.
Developers have long questioned the fairness of such fees – Tim Sweeney, boss of Epic Games, which owns Fortnite, has previously argued that the 30% cut is “disproportionate”.
In a statement, Google said: “The open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores.
“For game developers who choose to use the Play Store, we have consistent policies that are fair to developers and keep the store safe for users.
“While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.
“However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play.”
Epic Games tweeted: “Fortnite is currently unavailable on Google Play.
“More information will be forthcoming soon.”