Epic’s popularPUBG game, Fortnight, did not hit the Google Play Marketplace because it refused to pay a 30 per cent standard share. In a statement shared withmedia The Verge, Google said the Android platform is built on the existing Play Store and needs to increase investment to drive its growth and provide adequate security measures.
A Google spokesman said:
The Android platform provides developers with multiple app stores and app distribution channels. Google Play has a comprehensive business model and billing policy that allows us to invest more in the platform and provide developers with more tools to create successful business models while ensuring user safety. We welcome any developer who recognizes the value of Google Play and wants to comply with the same terms with other developers.
Since August 2018, Epic has been interested in distributing Fortnite independently of the Play Marketplace. Epic is demanding special immunity to avoid paying a 30 percent share of in-game purchases, according tomedia 9to5 Google. Fortress Night is a free game, so it mainly relies on in-game purchases for profit, including a variety of decorations, seasonal battle passes and more.
Epic then issued an official statement to themedia The Verge clarifying the company’s position
Instead of seeking special exemptions for itself, Epic wants to drive changes in the practices of the smartphone industry.
Our request is that products distributed through Google Play should not be limited to using Google’s payment services when purchased in-app. We believe that this 30% bundle of mandatory services is illegal for distribution platforms with a market share of more than 50%.
We note that Google Play’s developer distribution protocol (https://play.google.com/developer-distribution-agreement.html) does not require developers to use Google for payment. The terms simply refer to non-contractual documents that require developers to do so.
Similarly, Epic operates large PC portals and payment services, but we don’t mandate developers to use our payment ecosystem if they want to use our marketplace.
Google disagrees with Epic’s statement. Google said The Fortress Night was also on the iOS App Store last spring, and Apple also charged a 30 percent share of the in-house purchase, but Epic didn’t dispute it. Google also points out that the Play Store has the ability to promote and drive discovery, provide security and hosting, and provide technical testing and analysis tools, so the 30 percent split should be.
Tim Sweeney, Epic’s chief executive, has long insisted that app stores such as Apple and Google are in fact monopolies and that the 30 per cent cut is now out of step with the cost of services provided by both companies.
In late 2018, Epic launched its own PC gaming store, with revenue sharing of 88/12, in an attempt to lead the industry in seeing Sweeney as a fairer arrangement between platform holders and app and game makers.