Gaming

Fortnite removed from Google and Apple’s app stores

Its new in-app purchase system is to blame

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Apple iPhone XS

Fortnite — the famous battle royale game by Epic Games — has been removed from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store following a change that has big implications for developers and publishers worldwide.

The latest change involves the game’s in-app purchases (IAP). Epic Games implemented an update recently that let Fortnite bypass Google and Apple’s purchase system. This update prompted Apple to remove the game from its iOS store. Google followed suit, citing guideline violations by the publisher.

Challenging the 30% cut

Both Apple and Google mandates the inclusion of their own in-app purchase system on all games published on their platforms. As for Apple, it is strict on what purchases are done within an iOS app. It also takes a 30% cut on all purchases. Major tech companies have challenged this rule, stating that the rule is anti-competitive.

Google is less strict with in-app purchases on Android apps. However, it requires all Android games to implement the company’s own in-app purchase system. In the process, it also gets a 30% cut for all purchases.

This 30% cut is one of Epic Games’ major motivation for implementing its own in-app purchase system that circumvents Google and Apple’s system. In response to getting booted out of the major app stores, the publisher already filed a lawsuit against the two companies. The lawsuit company alleges anti-competitive conduct for both companies.

Apple responded to the lawsuit by stating that allowing Epic Games’ move will create special arrangements and an uneven the playing field for developers. Meanwhile, Google says that they’re open to future discussions with the publisher.

Paving the way for change

Epic Games’ new in-app purchase system seems more like an orchestrated move to challenge both Google and Apple’s store policies. Right after the removal of Fortnite, it launched the #FREEFORTNITE campaign and even posted a video that mimics Apple’s famous 1984 ad. As of now, iOS users can only hope for the best as the company shows no sign of relenting even after Apple removed Fortnite from store listings.

Android users are much luckier. They can still download Fortnite right on the Epic Games website. Back in 2018, the game publisher launched Fornite for Android directly on its website. Due to clamor, however, it relented and published the game on the Play Store. Google’s removal just reignites the publisher’s continuing clamor for the company to take a lesser cut on in-app purchases.

Fortnite gamers can only hope that something good comes out of this issue. On a bigger scheme of things, this issue fundamentally affects store policies that govern mobile apps and games. If this issue plays out, users may see some changes on their respective platforms. However, those hoping for bigger changes are out of luck. Both Apple and Google showed time and time again that it is willing to protect its store revenues.

Gaming

My Hero Academia is getting a battle royale game

In closed beta right now

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Image source: Gematsu

Just when you thought the battle royale craze was over, a new contender has approached. Capitalizing on one of the most popular anime series in modern history, Bandai Namco is launching a battle royale based on My Hero Academia. My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble is currently undergoing a beta test now.

Officially teased by Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine (spotted by Gematsu), the upcoming battle royale game will come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Like other battle royales in the genre, the game will be free-to-play.

Image source: Gematsu

However, instead of an all-out brawl between dozens and dozens of players, the game will only feature 24 players in a single round. Though Bandai Namco has not announced a launch date for the battle royale, a closed beta announcement means things are rolling smoothly. It might not take long before an open beta and an eventual launch happens.

My Hero Academia: Ultra Rumble makes sense as a spin-off of the popular anime series. Put simply, My Hero Academia takes place in a world where superpowers are commonplace. It’s easy to see how a battle royale based on the anime can work especially with different powers acting as a way to eliminate opponents.

Curiously enough, the game is coming out in older console generations, rather than the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S.

SEE ALSO: FF7 series launches new PS5 update, mobile battle royale

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Gaming

Microsoft has stopped making all Xbox One consoles

To focus on Xbox Series X/S

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Despite the global shortage, the gaming world is steadily moving towards next generation dominance. Both Sony and Microsoft want gamers to use either the PlayStation 5 or the Xbox Series X/S exclusively. However, the ongoing problem is preventing gamers from switching. To help with the shortages, Microsoft is discontinuing all Xbox One consoles.

This has been a slow death for the previous Xbox generation. Back in 2020, Microsoft stopped producing the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition to pave the way for the then-launching Xbox Series X/S. That was only part of the equation. Gamers could still get other variants of the Xbox One series. Of course, that ends now.

Microsoft has stopped producing new units of all Xbox One consoles. If you want to purchase an older Xbox, you’ll have to rely on existing stock.

According to a statement sent to The Verge, the company pushed through with the decision to focus its production more on the still-scant Xbox Series X/S. With enough luck, the move might help the shortage. Both the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5 still notoriously sell out seconds after new stock is announced.

Ironically, Sony is trying the opposite strategy. Because of the ongoing shortages, the PlayStation maker is instead manufacturing more PlayStation 4 units this year, ideally to fill in the lacking PlayStation 5 stock.

Which strategy will prevail? At this point, no one is. Both consoles are still missing from stores despite overwhelming demand.

SEE ALSO: Xbox creates a SpongeBob-themed Xbox Series X

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Gaming

Acer announces refreshed lineup of Predator desktops, monitors

Refreshed and ready for intense gaming action

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Predator desktops

Acer is no stranger to releasing quality gaming machines early into the new year, and 2022 is no exception. For their gaming lineup, the company announced a full refresh of select Predator gaming desktops and monitors. These refreshed unit promise to bring supreme power and upgradability down the road.

First up on the list are the Acer Predator Orion 3000 and 5000 series of gaming desktops. In these desktop machines, Acer included up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with an NVIDIA RTX 3070 and 3080, respectively. They are simply built for the best and for those who only want the best gaming experience. Of course, other features include increased RAM and faster storage options.

To complement these refresh gaming machines, they also announced the new Acer Predator X32 and CG48 Gaming Monitors. For the Predator X32, this comes with a 160Hz refresh rate with 4K resolution and 99% coverage of AdobeRGB. Also, its more powerful brother, the Predator X32 FP, comes with a 165Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 support for next-gen consoles. Similarly, the Predator CG48 comes with HDMI 2.1 on a 48-inch OLED display.

Pricing and availability of the new Predator desktops and monitors have yet to be announced.

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