Epic Games is currently suing Apple and Google over their alleged monopolistic practices on their various app stores and both companies have banned Epic’s most popular game, Fortnite, from their respective app stores for trying to skirt around the cut each company takes from in-app purchases.
How does this affect you? Well, for starters, you won’t be getting updates for the Fortnite app from each app store while this plays out. While you should still be able to sideload a new version of the app on Android — I’m going to assume that Epic Games is going to offer a way to do this, at least — you’re stuck on iOS and will be unable to take part in Fortnite Chapter 2 (Season 4) when it arrives on August 27.
You’ll still be able to play Fortnite version 13.40, of course, but you won’t get to spend your hard-earned V-Bucks on any of the new seasonal cosmetics. And that will make you sad.
Speaking of, Fortnite’s removal from both app stores is directly related to the new feature it introduced in its game that allowed players to save 20 per cent on Fortnite’s in-app currency, V-Bucks, for paying Epic directly instead of using either app store’s payment system. So, if you took advantage of that deal, but can no longer play Fortnite on your mobile device, you might have wasted your money.
It’s time to get a refund for your recent Fortnite purchases
If you’re not planning to play Fortnite on PC or Mac — where you can spend your discounted V-Bucks (and buy more!) as long as you link your game to your primary account — you should request a refund from Apple or Google for in-app currency you’ll now no longer be able to use.
On iOS, you can’t simply “unbuy” your in-app purchase from Epic, unfortunately. You’ll have to bother Apple directly and make a good case for why you should get a refund. This might work if you haven’t spend any V-Bucks on anything yet; if you did, I suspect your argument will not go very far. It’s still worth a shot since, again, your V-Bucks won’t be very helpful when you can’t use them to buy new things in a few weeks. And if you get your refund, you’ll feel a sense of validation knowing that you’re joining Epic in its fight against monopolistic app store practices.
On Android, you can also request a refund from Google if it’s been less than 48 hours since you made an in-app purchase. After that, Google suggests your best bet is to contact an app developer directly to ask for a refund — while I feel like Epic would be more than happy to help, given the circumstances, I also feel like they would much rather the Fortnite masses annoy Google with requests, in the spirt of “sticking it to the company that just booted their game off its app store.” Maybe that’s just me.
What’s the likelihood of you getting a refund on either platform? Well, you might want to start getting familiar with a keyboard and mouse (not a Switch or PS4, I should note, since your V-Buck balances won’t transfer):
Why am I being refused to get a refund for purchases which I can no longer access on Fortnite since Fortnite has been removed from Play Store by Google.
— Wicked (@ThunderWicked_) August 14, 2020