Fortnite owner gives up battle against Google Play store

Guardian Technology 22 Apr 2020 02:25
Epic Games said Google put Android software downloadable outside Google Play at a disadvantage. Photograph: PR

Fortnite for Android is available through the Google Play store for the first time, almost 18 months after owners Epic Games tried to use the game’s popularity to break the app store duopoly.

The release is an embarrassing climbdown for Epic, which has sunk significant resources into building its own independent games service, and is sure to reignite accusations of anti-competitive behaviour on the parts of both Apple and Google.

“After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play store, we’ve come to a basic realisation,” Epic said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

“Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterising third-party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store.”

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