Fortnite set to launch on Android phones - but there's a catch

Yolanda Curtis
August 4, 2018

It's also worth mentioning that Fortnite has also been globally successful on all platforms from a monetization perspective by managing to claw in over $1 billion in revenue for Epic Games.

Speaking about the decision to avoid Google Play, Mr Sweeney told news site The Verge that Epic Games wanted to have a "direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that's possible". It's easy to understand why: hosting the game download themselves and having the installation skip the Play Store will also skip Google's commission on its lucrative in-app purchases, the monetization strategy for essentially all free-to-play games.

That information came from source code within Fortnite's website which revealed instructions prompting Android users to download Fortnite through their browser rather than the Play Store. With a game like Fortnite, that makes all of its money by way of microtransactions, 30% is a lot of money lost when it essentially has an opportunity to keep 100% of the revenue if it launches the game outside of Google Play.

Fortnite has become a global phenomenon enjoyed by millions of players each day. 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. It will be as good as a round of Russian Roulette for people attempting to play Fortnite on anything other than the Note 9.

Play is Google's official store for Android apps and the company uses a layered set of automated and human filters for detecting and removing potentially harmful applications from the store.

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, alluded to two reasons behind the distribution method.

Android's default app install security will need to be disabled to play Fortnite. 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". With the biggest game in the world asking millions of players to bypass vital security measures built into Android, the potential for obfuscation and abuse is unlimited.

"You should look carefully at the source of software you're installing, and only install software from sources you trust", said Sweeney. Users will be able to download it directly from the company's website.

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