When Fortnite for Android finally arrives, you won’t be getting it from the Play Store.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed today that Fortnite for Android will not be offered in Google’s Play Store. Instead, users will download a Fortnite Installer from the Fortnite website to get the game on their Android device. Sweeney explained to The Verge that there are a couple of reasons for this decision.
Epic wants to have a “direct relationship” with its users whenever possible, Sweeney said. On the PC, Fortnite users download and play the game using an Epic Games Launcher. Sweeney also said that Epic doesn’t want to pay the 30 percent cut of its sales that it would have to give Google if Fortnite were in the Play Store. Fortnite is a free to play game, and so all of the money it makes is from in-game purchases for costumes, dance moves, and more.
Sweeney explained that that 30 percent cut is a lot when the developers’ 70 percent has to cover the costs of development, operations, and support for their game. And while paying a cut to a partner makes more sense on consoles when that partner has big investments in hardware and marketing, things are different on mobile. “30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service,” the Epic CEO said.
Fortnite for iOS is available in the App Store because there’s not really any other way for iOS users to get apps. That’s not the case on Android, though, which lets you install apps from unknown sources fairly easily. And while a lot of Android users have probably never done that, the mega popularity of Fortnite means that many folks will probably happily grab the Fortnite Installer to get the game onto their Android phone. Sweeney isn’t concerned about this, saying that PC gamers have been installing games from different sources for a while now and adding that mobile OSes offer “robust, permissions-based security” features.
What do you think of Epic’s decision to skip the Play Store for Fortnite for Android?