Gaming

Fortnite removed from Google and Apple’s app stores

Its new in-app purchase system is to blame

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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

Globe, AcadArena launch Esports merit scholarship

Who knew playing video games has its benefits to your education?

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By this time, some students are already having online classes as a result of the pandemic. Even so, the younger generation still finds time to play video games to their hearts content. For others, while school hasn’t started yet, they use this time to hone their skills in otherwise competitive titles. Now, Globe and AcadArena have something very special planned that will provide more opportunities to college students.

As part of their student organization support system Alliance, Esports AcadArena is launching its first Esports merit scholarship. In partnership with Globe, this scholarship hopes to provide financial assistance through active participation in Esports activities. Essentially, student organizations from member universities may avail of this scholarship for select students.

The scholarships offers three types of merit depending on the student’s activities within their organization. There is the Family Good Game Grant which offers financial assistance to the student’s family provided he qualifies in AcadArena’s tournaments. Also, there are Competitve and Leadership Merits granted onto individuals with good chararcter and performance.

To know more about the Alliance Program or if your organization is interested in applying, visit AcadArena’s webiste.

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Gaming

Microsoft is acquiring Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5 billion

Gearing up for the console war

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Microsoft has announced it’ll be acquiring ZeniMax Media for US$ 7.5 billion. The gaming company is behind many high-profile titles like Doom and Fallout. Furthermore, the gaming company owns Bethesda Softworks, which owns top-sellers like The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, and Dishonored.

To be more precise, the deal includes multiple divisions like Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios.

The announcement comes just a week after Microsoft’s failed bid for the short-video app, TikTok. Instead, Oracle and Walmart won the race and officially became technology partners of the game. However, the gaming acquisition will immensely help the Redmond based giant sell its Xbox console.

“All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you,” Xbox head Phil Spencer said in a blog post announcing the news.

The new Xbox and PlayStation are scheduled to come later this year and this deal gives Microsoft an edge in terms of game exclusivity. With the Coronavirus outbreak, gaming has picked up radically in 2020 and the future looks bright in the short term.

Microsoft will be seeking to bring all of the new studios’ upcoming titles to Xbox Game Pass on day one across Xbox consoles and PC.

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Gaming

Buying a PS5? You might not have to wait long for a discount

This is according to a report by iPrice Group

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The pricing and availability of the PlayStation 5 was revealed in a recent showcase.It also showed off the various games coming to the next-gen console. However, not everyone may be rushing to get their hands on the PS5. If you’re one of the few who are holding off, here’s how long you should wait.

According to a report by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group, pricing for the new console might see a price drop as early as May 2021.

They came to this conclusion after studying the price history of the PlayStation 4 Pro — the console that precedes the PS5. They collected and compared selling prices of the console throughout the years on over 150 online shopping websites.

The average online selling price for Sony consoles tends to drop by six percent (6%), six months after the release and up to eight percent (8%) after a year.

The discounts also tend to come with game promotions where the consoles come bundled with certain early releases. The pricing discounts come from partner retailers. Sony itself doesn’t slash prices right away.

Following this analysis, the company predicts the following pricing by May 2021:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 685
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 564

By November 2021, the consoles could be had for these prices:

  • PlayStation 5 Standard Edition — SG$ 634
  • PlayStation 5 Digital Edition — SG$ 521

While you can always be hopeful, we advise to take these numbers with a grain of salt. We don’t know for sure if the prices will actually drop.

However, be on the lookout from your local retailers no matter what market you’re in. You might just snag a great deal!

 

 

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