Fortnite for Android Will Bypass Google’s Play Store

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

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. While the exclusivity deal helps Samsung establish its handset as a powerful mobile gaming system, it also helps Epic show off the strength of its game engine and showcases Fortnite running as smoothly as possible.

Fortnite is perhaps the most popular game in the world right now, and its impending release on Android is sure to grow its already massive user base even more. In that context, developer Epic's decision to offer the game as a direct download on the web instead of a conventional installation via the Google Play Store platform is a huge problem. 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. This is a departure from the iOS release of the game, which is available on Apple's App Store.

Sweeney says players will need "a recent high-end Android smartphone" to run the game, although he couldn't divulge specific specs. First, Epic Games wants to maintain a direct relationship with their customers. By distributing the game on their own site, Epic will be able to retain all revenue.

Due to the open nature of Android, Google allows installation of apps from third-party sources other than the Play Store.

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However, novice users are typically discouraged from doing so, because apps from unknown sources could pose a security risk.

The game is expected to launch in beta some time during August. "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.

Strictly speaking, there is nothing wrong with hosting the game on their website. Sweeney responds by reminding gamers that the "freedom" of an open platform like Android "comes with responsiblity", and that the per-app permission process within newer Android versions is superior to "entrusting one monopoly app store as the arbiter of what software users are allowed to obtain". There is now no set date for when Fortnite Android will become available, but based on the game's massive popularity, it's sure to be a hit.

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