Confirmed: Epic Games won’t distribute Fortnite Mobile on Android via Google Play

People playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018.                  Josh Miller  CNET

People playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018. Josh Miller CNET

In new interviews published today, Epic Games shed more light on its plans for the Android version of Fortnite. Instead, Epic plans to distribute the app to Android owners itself, bypassing Google entirely.

Game maker Epic's decision not to go through Google's official app store - which is simple to access through Android phones - is due to Google taking a 30 per cent cut of revenue. The CEO went on to say that he thinks this amount is disproportionate to the services Google provides on open platforms like Android where the company that maintains the operating system is separate from the hardware manufacturer. 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. This is similar to PC, where players have to open Epic's proprietary launcher to play the game. Epic Games does not want to lose 30% of their Android revenue to Google, which is what'll happen if they choose to use Google Play as their distribution method.

Fortnite for iOS is available in the App Store because there's not really any other way for iOS users to get apps.

This makes the release date of Fortnite for Android in general move way back to November or December of 2018.

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.




An additional question doubles down on Epic wanting to reclaim that 30 percent fee for the sake of development costs and server overhead-though it does not address Google Play's guarantees of malware scanning for any app downloaded. Considering the iOS version of Fornite made over Dollars $15 million since its release 3 weeks ago, there's a lot of cash to be made.

After that yet-unknown length of time, the game will likely be available for all gamers regardless of their device.

But so far, Android users have been unable to get in on the action.

"You should look carefully at the source of software you're installing, and only install software from sources you trust", said Sweeney. Sweeney doesn't seem to anxious about this, saying that "Gamers have proven able to adopt safe software practices, and gaming has thrived on the open PC platform through many sources". That means distributing the software directly to them, taking payment through Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, and other options, and not having a store take 30 percent.

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