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The leap from PC to home consoles to mobile devices was a natural progression for Epic Games' Fortnite. The free-to-play Battle Royale mode has managed to capture the attention and hearts of gamers the world around. It's about to become even bigger yet as hundreds of millions of people with access to Android smartphones will be able to play Fortnite while on the go. Epic recently launched the playable beta for Fortnite on Android devices, but there's a bit of a catch to this massive news: you'll only be able to participate in the beta for the Android version of Fortnite if you're using a Samsung device.
The Verge is reporting that Fortnite's mobile migration is going to be exclusive to Samsung devices, for now. The game will be playable on Samsung's Note 9, along with making the leap to tablets such as the Tab S4. A host of other mobile devices under the Samsung label will also be supported, including tablets such as the Tab S3, and handsets such as the Galaxy S7 all the way up to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.
The game's beta is not, however, available from the Google Play store, which has taken some gamers by complete surprise, given how big Google Play is and how much more market breadth it covers. However, it's easy to understand Epic's line of thinking here given that everyone already knows about Fortnite and there's no reason at all that the company needs a platform like the iTunes App Store or the Google Play store in order to reach a new audience. If mobile gamers want to get in on Fortnite it's just a few clicks away by either downloading the Samsung Game Launcher app or by installing Epic's mobile game launcher. Both ways gain you access to Fortnite without having to go through the third-party digital distribution stores in order to play the game.
Some of you might be wondering why Epic would forfeit going the Google Play route, but as previously reported, the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, had already shot down the need to hand over 30% of the revenue to platform holders, which his why Epic bypassed submitting the game to Google Play.
For those of you who don't know, most digital distribution outlets take 30% of the cut of revenue generated from software made available on the platform. It's how Steam operates, it's how Origin operates, it's how Google Play and iTunes operate. By skipping out on giving the middle-man a cut, Epic gets to retain all the revenue generated from the mobile distribution of Fortnite directly to mobile users instead of through a third-party web portal. And, besides, Fortnite is actually big enough so it doesn't need a third-party platform to make potentially new customers aware that it exists. Promotion from livestreamers and Youtubers does the job well enough.
The exclusivity period for the Battle Royale game being on Samsung's devices will be limited, and soon after the period expires you can expect to see Fortnite make its way to additional Android devices... just not on the Google Play store.