As one of the most regularly played games on PC and on consoles, Fortnite has risen to fame like few games before it. Taking the mantel alongside and sometimes ahead of the likes of Player Unknowns Battlegrounds, Fortnite has managed to fuse together some very popular gaming styles to create one truly exceptional experience. However, with Fortnite now coming to mobile devices – and playing very well – it’s interesting to note that it will skip out the Google Play Store entirely.
The developers of the game, Epic Games, has announced that it will not be on the Google Play Store. instead, it will be available for download on the official Fortnite website upon release. Given the fact that Google has long been the dominant place for Android apps, this news has obviously sparked some concerns.
One of the main reasons for avoiding the upload of Fortnite to the Play Store is the avoidance of a 30% distribution fee. According to Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic, the fee would be “disproportionate” with regards to the needs for payment processing, bandwidth usage, and customer service planning.
Indeed, this could be the start of an avalanche of other platforms deciding to skip the marketing that the Play Store offers and instead go direct. While the exposure that one gets from the store is amazing, it’s easy to see why companies want to keep that hard-earned for themselves. With Fortnite now exceeding the $1bn mark in terms of revenue, it’s easy to see why they want to keep that cut for themselves.
While most users will likely check out the Play Store first, meaning some will miss out on Fortnite, this is a risk that is supposedly worthwhile taking. With a good social media marketing strategy and word of mouth usage, the hope is that this will pay off and trying to save 30% won’t cost Epic more than the savings.
This is also going to have a major impact on the long-term health of the Play Store, and indeed in how people use their Android devices. With the ability to download third party apps without any issues, all it takes is a proprietary installer to be made on the developer side to make sure it can install free from the Play Store’ need to verify it.
With Amazon also using their own side-loaded Amazon Appstore, this is not the first – or indeed the last – company to try and take on Google. It could be a good thing in the long-term for Android, as it can show that it isn’t inextricably linked and tethered to the Play Store for app performance.
By making it easy to show just simple it is to circumvent the Play Store, this is likely to be a moment of immediate tension for Google. While the developers are being quick to dissuade any comments about piracy and fraudulent downloads due to being off the Play Store, this argument is sure to create a rather tense experience for both Epic Games and Google for some time to come. If you want to do the L dance on Android, then, you’ll need to download it directly from the Epic website.
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