If you’re into gaming, you probably felt a disturbance in the Force this week. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced? Don’t worry, you’re not crazy: Fortnite was removed from the Apple store and Google Play.
They pulled the mega-popular game from its stores after they determined that the manufacturer, Epic Games, had violated Apple store guidelines by allowing users to make in-app purchases directly and bypass the 30% tax.
“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their ‘Fortnite’ app has been removed from the store,” Apple said in a statement that was echoed by Google.
“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,” the Google statement said. “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 is now suing Apple for “anticompetitive conduct,” and the game remains off the platforms.
There is some good news: if you’re desperate to get it back, there is a solution – if you’ve got the money. A lot of it.
If you’ve already got Fortnite installed on your phone, Apple and Google can’t remove it. So, seeing an opportunity, enterprising eBay users are selling phones that have the game. But they’re selling them at a premium. Several Fortnite-installed phones are being listed at thousands of dollars, and one even offered with a starting bid of $12,000 (and Buy It Now at $19,000?!) on the auction platform, which is simply insane, especially since the game remains available on plenty of other platforms, including Playstation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, even personal computers.
In a sign that America hasn’t completely lost it, there haven’t been any bids placed on those absurd listing. It looks as though the top bid thus far is $2500. Of course, if this conflict with Epic Games isn’t resolved soon, it’s going to be a tough fall for kids wanting to hold Fortnite in the palm of their hand – and their parents who might be willing to pay whatever it takes to get those kids to stop whining about it!