'Fortnite' will skip the Play Store for its Android release

Doris Richards
August 3, 2018

Through this move, Epic will save on the 30 percent cut that Google demands for Play Store apps, as well as have a more direct relationship with its customers. After directly distributing Fortnite on Mac and PC, Epic Games is now "intimately familiar" with the cost of running such a system.

The developer didn't confirm when the game is going to be released.

Due to the open nature of Android, Google allows installation of apps from third-party sources other than the Play Store. Any apps or games with in-app purchases consumed entirely within the service must use Google Play In-app Billing, which means Epic Games would have to cough up 30% of all IAP revenue to Google if they distributed Fortnite Mobile on Android via the Play Store. Not only is that 30% a "high cost" when developers have just 70% to go towards developing, operating and supporting their games, but it's "disproportionate" to the cost that Google Play provides, which includes payment processing and customer service.

Fortnite has been available on Apple's iOS platform - installable on iPhone and iPad - for quite some time now. The outlet performed its pre-release test on a Samsung Galaxy S9+. If the rumored exclusivity hasn't gotten people upset, our discovery that Epic would distribute Fortnite Mobile on Android outside of the Google Play Store has probably done the trick. "There's a rationale for this on console where there's enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers". We believe gamers will benefit from competition among software sources on Android. Despite the fact that most Android users get most of their apps from the Google Play store, the reasoning behind Epic's decision isn't all that complicated. You should look carefully at the source of software you're installing, and only install software from sources you trust.

On Android, would-be Fortnite players will need to navigate to Epic's website to download an APK that will prompt users to adjust their security settings specific to that one file and then download the game in full. Sweeney thinks that all operating systems should provide security this way, rather than allowing a single store owner to decide what users can or cannot install. Eventually, the game should be available on other devices, too.

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