Epic announced recently that Fortnite will not be available through the Google Play Store. If you're gaming on an Android device, you'll have to download the battle royale king directly from the publisher instead. That's an extra hoop to jump through, but we doubt it will have much of an impact on the game's success on yet another platform. Here's what Epic CEO Tim Sweeney had to say about the move:
Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that's possible. The great thing about the Internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required.
The above quote comes from a report from The Verge, in which Tim Sweeney outlines the reasons for Fortnite being detached from Google Play on Android devices. As he states, the first reason for this somewhat unique model is maintaining a direct connection with customers, saying the developer/publisher wants to pursue this kind of relationship on as many platforms as possible.
That's a pretty shallow pool Sweeney is talking about. Fortnite is available on the PC, Mac, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch at this point. Unless we're mistaken, the PC is the only other platform where they are gunning for this "direct relationship," as Fortnite is made available from Epic rather than, say, Steam on the PC.
In case this news has you worried, it sounds like the process to get Fortnite on your Android phone won't actually be all that difficult. Instead of hopping on the Play store, searching for Fortnite and downloading it to your device, you'll instead head to the game's official website and download the client directly from Epic. They are probably banking on the popularity of the game and word of mouth to help folks figure out how to get Fortnite up and running on their Android phone.
The other reason, and likely the biggest, is financial. Google takes a 30 percent cut out of sales made through the Play store. Other platforms boast a similar model but, as Sweeney points out, those other platform holders also have a large investment in the business arrangement, including hardware manufacturing and distribution, as well as marketing deals for various games. Google does not have nearly the same financial stake in its online marketplace, which is why Sweeney said he feels 30 percent is too deep of a cut.
In case you're wondering why they aren't taking the same path on iOS, that's because Apple's phone is a one-store town. Apps are limited to the Apple Store and can't be downloaded from third party sources. Android, though, is more open and allows for apps to be obtained from outside Google Play. Most developers don't try to host their own games, though, because they don't have the name recognition of something like Fortnite. People will probably go wherever they have to go to get their hands on Fortnite, but Gem Buster Extreme 67 is likely only going to get attention and make some money if it is being sold on Android's biggest marketplace, Google Play.