Rumors at the start of the week claimed that Fortnite for Android may not be offered on the Play Store, instead asking users to download the app from the Fortnite website. Now the end of the week is here and that rumor has been confirmed.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has confirmed that Fortnite for Android will not be offered in Google's Play Store. Instead, users will download a Fortnite Installer from the game's website and install the game that way. Sweeney told The Verge that Epic has a couple of reasons for going this route.
First, Epic would like to have a "direct relationship" with its users, similar to how it does things on the PC where it offers Fortnite through its own Epic Games Launcher. The second reason is that Epic doesn't want to pay Google the 30 percent cut it would ask for Fortnite's in-app purchases. Sweeney explained that that 30 percent cut is high when Epic's 70 percent cut must cover developing, operating, and supporting its game.
The Epic CEO added that while giving a cut of in-game costs makes sense on consoles, where their partners have a major investment in a hardware product and larger partnerships with publishers. "30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service," Sweeney said of mobile platforms.
It's worth noting that Fortnite for iOS is offered through Apple's App Store. However, Fortnite doesn't have much of a choice on that platform, as Apple has made it so that the App Store is the only place iOS users can get apps.
Epic's reasons for not offering Fortnite in the Play Store make sense, especially the financial part. That 30 percent cut would be a big chunk of what Epic makes from Fortnite, and since Fortnite is free to play, those in-game purchases are the only way that the company makes money from its game.
It'll be interesting to see how Android users who are accustomed to only downloading apps from the Play Store will respond to downloading Fortnite from the web. Sweeney is confident that everything will work smoothly, saying that mobile OSes have "robust, permissions-based security." Given the mega popularity of Fortnite, we're betting that a lot of Android users won't think twice about skipping the Play Store and going to the Fortnite website to grab the game whenever it does finally arrive on Android.