Epic Will Keep Fortnite Off Google's Store to Make More Money

Gerald Bowen
August 4, 2018

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.

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, alluded to two reasons behind the distribution method. Epic Games has chose to not distribute the game through the Google Play Store for financial reasons. This manual installation is more or less the same as downloading a program off the web to your Windows desktop and installing it yourself, and it comes with the same risks. Inexperienced users, notably children, do not, opening them up to rogue installations of malware, spyware, and other generally undesirable stuff.

Unlike iPhones and iPads, Android devices allow users to load their own programs on rather than having to go through the officially sanctioned app store.

Josh Miller/CNET On open platforms like PC, Mac and Android, Epic's goal is to bring its games directly to customers.

Unsurprisingly, there are also financial justifications behind this decision, as Epic Games will not have to pay Google the standard 30% cut for every purchase made within the app. Fortnite - a free-to-play game - thrives on in-app purchases, and Epic doesn't want to give away more than a quarter of its profits to Google. For instance, instead of distributing Fortnite through Steam, the firm has its own launcher on Windows. You should look carefully at the source of software you're installing, and only install software from sources you trust.

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Fortnite - could it soon be coming to Android?

The reasoning behind this move is obvious, but so is the danger.

Fortnite has become a global phenomenon enjoyed by millions of players each day. Malware and spyware developers have been posting fake Android downloads for "Fortnite" for months, even blatantly advertising them on places like YouTube. It's been an issue with Fortnite on PC for some time already, according to the owners of a streaming platform that tracked and took down one major piece of adware targeting Fortnite users this summer, but Sweeney told Eurogamer he wasn't concerned that Fortnite's unusual Android release will make players susceptible to the same practices on mobile.

That's sage advice, but it's advice that he's making it harder to follow. Earlier today, we got confirmation that Fortnite will not be available on the Google Play Store; instead, users will download and install the game directly from Epic by enabling app installations from unknown sources in their Android device settings.

Source code deciphering done by some XDA Developers users (EDIT: Apparently Reddit user thesbros) found some very interesting factoids about the Fortnite release on Android.

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