Yesterday, Epic Games introduced a payment method that circumvented Apple and Google's 30% payment fee on the App Store and Google Play Store respectively. In response, Fortnite has now been removed from both storefronts.
News first broke yesterday of Fortnite being removed from the App Store on iOS devices. Epic Games was surprisingly quick to respond, introducing a #FreeFortnite campaign that invoked vibes of George Orwell's 1984, running a dystopian advert warning of the dangers corporate domination in Fortnite itself for all players to view.
A matter of hours later, it was revealed Google has also removed Fortnite from the Google Play Store. A statement from Google, provided to The Verge, confirmed that the removal of Fortnite from the Google Play Store is indeed due to Epic Games's circumventing of the Google Play Store 30% transaction fee, which Epic got around by introducing a method that allowed users to buy in-game V-Bucks directly from Epic instead of through Apple and Google.
Note however, that it is still possible to download Fortnite on Android devices. Whereas all downloads on iOS devices must be done through the App Store, Android devices allow for downloads through third-party clients, so while Fortnite has been removed from the Google Play Store, you can still download the game from Epic directly.
Epic has responded by filing lawsuits against both Apple and Google. Epic isn't seeking damages from lawsuits against either company, but is instead filing a lawsuit that would open up the monopoly that Apple has over downloads on iOS devices (a monopoly that recently saw the possibility of Microsoft's xCloud game streaming service on iOS devices get shot down). What Epic wants, basically, is its own storefront on Apple devices.
Keep in mind that Epic can't go after Google for the same reasons as it is Apple as, since we mentioned above, Google does allow third-party downloads and therefore doesn't have the monopoly on downloads on Android devices that Apple has on iOS. If you want to read the full lawsuit from Epic against Apple, which has the potential to impact the entire games industry in the way games can be downloaded on iOS devices, click here.