Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Google after its massively popular online shooter, Fortnite Battle Royale, was removed from the Google Play Store on Thursday.

This follows a previous lawsuit filed against Apple on similar grounds after the game was removed from the app store, signaling a broader conflict between the studio and major tech giants.

The issue stems from Epic’s recent announcement of the ability for players to buy in-game currency for Fortnite without going through Apple and Google’s in-app purchase systems. The use of these systems is required in order for apps to get approved and hosted on each storefront and each sees the tech giants take a 20-30% cut of all sales. This breach of these controversial rules resulted in the game being swiftly booted from each store.

When announcing the new way for players to make purchases, Epic also said that these new direct options would come with a discount now that the company would not have to share profits with other companies. This move was clearly planned to cause trouble with the platform’s, as Epic quickly submitted 60-page complaints in its lawsuits and even released an anti-Apple ad parodying the company’s famous “1984” Super Bowl commercial.

“[Google] is using its size to do evil upon competitors, innovators, customers, and users in a slew of markets it has grown to monopolize,” Epic’s complaint against Google read.

“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,” Google said in a statement about the game’s removal. “While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.”

Epic had said that it would be willing to talk with Apple and Google about returning Fortnite to their storefront’s if they chose to lower or outright abolish their royalty fees. Both companies have also said that they would be willing to have discussions with Epic about the situation.

Apple’s royalty fees for App Store purchases were among the major criticisms leveled against Apple when CEO Tim Cook appeared before a House antitrust committee in July. Before the hearing, committee chair Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., called Apple’s 30% fee “highway robbery.”

Fortnite is one of, if not the most popular video games on the market currently, particularly among children, with over 350 million players worldwide as of May 2020 and over $2 billion dollars in revenue generated as of March 2019. In addition to mobile platforms, the free-to-play game is also available on game consoles like the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, with support planned for the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Google's parent company said its results were hurt by weakness in digital advertising during the global pandemic Google's parent company said its results were hurt by weakness in digital advertising during the global pandemic Photo: AFP / Ben STANSALL