The makers of Fortnite: Battle Royale, Epic Games, confirmed last week that the Android version of the game won’t be available on the Google Play Store. Alternatively, they’ll make an installer on their website for the free-to-play game when it’s released. The game’s popularity leaves us wondering whether Google has anything to worry about despite the stronghold Play Store has on Android software distribution.
In a Q & A with Eurogamer, Tim Sweeney said that the largest reason for this, was to avoid Google’s 30% distribution fee. He said that the fee is “disproportionate to the cost of services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service.”
It may sound like Sweeney is advocating for other mobile developers to skip Google and keep the cut for themselves, but that is not the case. Google provides huge exposure to even large games and software publishers, but considering that Fortnite raked in a total of over $1 billion in revenue from other platforms, the game does not need all that exposure as it is already popular as it is.
This is a bold move for Epic Games, because it could create tension with Google It seems Sweeney is not worried about this. He: “looks forward to continued collaboration with Google”.
This move could also change the way Play Store users think Android, seeing as it allows users to install third party apps directly.
In the past, Amazon has tried to undercut Google’s grip on Android app distribution. Epic’s decision to bypass the Play Store will open their eyes to other horizons and this is even more appealing than the 30% they hope to keep to themselves. The advantages following this move could open doors for android brand awareness as it shows how flexible android could be.
Shannon Toohey is Editor-In-Chief of FanFest.com. She graduated from Hofstra University in 2015 with a B.A. in Journalism from the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications. Shannon has been a proud member of the Fan Fest team since 2013. Tweet her in your prettiest bird voice: @shannontoo