Fortnite's Android port won't be available in the Google Play Store
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. Or it would, if there weren’t a few hoops to jump through to install the game. Epic, the company behind Fortnite, will not release the game on Google’s Play Store. Instead, the Android version of Fortnite will only be available from Epic’s own website.
While a release date is still yet to be announced, Epic announced today that the Android port of Fortnite will only be available for download on Epic’s website. This is a departure from the iOS release of the game, which is available on Apple’s App Store. However, the open nature of Android means that Epic can more easily circumvent the official app repository.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, alluded to two reasons behind the distribution method. For one, Epic has a storied history of “direct to customer” distribution, especially with Fortnite. The primary reason Epic turned to the iOS App Store is that Apple does not allow the distribution of iOS apps through unverified channels. (While iOS users can load custom apps on an iDevice, this requires a few steps to trust an unknown publisher, and these “trust certificates” typically expire within a week.)
The second, and likely more pertinent reason, is revenue. Google takes 30% of all Play Store revenue for themselves. This cut includes any in-app purchases, which is primarily how Fortnite makes money. By distributing the game on their own site, Epic will be able to retain all revenue. Considering the iOS version of Fornite made over USD $15 million since its release 3 weeks ago, there’s a lot of cash to be made.
The game will likely be available via an APK download on Epic’s site. This could open the app to some security risks, but Epic doesn’t seem concerned about this at the present time. There is currently 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.