Fortnite for Android Will Bypass Google’s Play Store


There typically isn't so much news surrounding a game's launch for Android, but this is Fortnite, now the world's most popular game. Fortnite's success guarantees that the game will bring in enough money that it makes financial sense to sit outside the official channel - saving literally millions of dollars - and its popularity means Epic isn't reliant on the Google Play store to make people aware of its game.

Fortnite Battle Royale has become a gaming sensation, a smash hit on every major gaming platform and earning an estimated $1 billion despite its free-to-play model.

Fortnite developer Epic Games has yet to comment on this report, but the team did announce on Friday that Fortnite will not be available through the Google Play store. This is similar to PC, where players have to open Epic's proprietary launcher to play the game.

In short, Fortnite is simply the Big Game of the moment. The game dominates social media on YouTube and Twitch, and it's so popular with teenagers and school-age children that the iOS version caused a brief panic among teachers and parents when it bowed earlier this year, a la Pokemon Go. On smartphones, however, Blizzard distributes its card game Hearthstone through the Google Play and Apple stores just like any other app.

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In a Q&A with Eurogamer, Epic's Tim Sweeney dished on the company's reasoning for doing so. Google takes 30% of all Play Store revenue for themselves.

Android keeps installing apps from unknown sources disabled by default for security reasons. Basically, players on Android devices will head to the Fortnite web site at which point you tap a button to download the Fortnite Installer.apk file.

We don't know how this will affect Fortnite, its audience, or even the Android app ecosystem as a whole.

As for potential security risks or scams, Sweeney said "Open platforms are an expression of freedom: the freedom of users to install the software they choose, and the freedom of developers to release software as they wish". Since that was the only information available at the time, the assumption was that after that 30-day period, anyone would be able to download and install the game. Secondly, it isn't too keen on having to pay 30% of the profits made from each in-game purchase.