Fortnite Will Skip Google Play 30% Cut On Android Confirmed
Epic confirms the Google Play bypass in lengthy FAQ, says money is a main reason. Fortnite on Android will not make use of the Google Play distribution platform. Instead, Android users will have to download an installer from the Epic website and get the game on their device manually. Of course, you’re probably still going to play Fortnite on PC, but Epic’s philosophy around distribution on “open platforms” also applies to their approach on computers – and reinforces just how big Fortnite has become.
As Epic prepares to roll Fortnite’s first Android version out in the very near future, the game maker has responded to rumors and leaks by confirming that this version will entirely bypass the Google Play app store. Fortnite players on Android will have to take the uncommon step of going straight to a website, downloading an “APK” file, and opening up Android’s permissions to approve the game’s install.
Avoiding the 30 percent “store tax” is a part of Epic’s motivation. It’s a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games. And it’s disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service. We’re intimately familiar with these costs from our experience operating Fortnite as a direct-to-customer service on PC and Mac.
Sweeney says Epic is intimately familiar with the costs of distribution and bandwidth thanks to its experience handling it all internally with Fortnite on PC – and that the 30% cost doesn’t add up. Hence why Fortnite bypasses Steam altogether, and why publishers like EA and Ubisoft are trying to put games on their own platforms. Even Fallout 76 appears to be following suit.
In more philosophical terms, Sweeney praises Android as open platform that allows similar benefits to PC. “Openness creates an attractive, thriving ecosystem where everyone can innovate without having to ask for permission. Windows, Android, Mac, Unreal Engine, Linux, and other projects show that a company can open up its ecosystem and still run a successful and profitable business.”
Promotion and curation can help small games stand out on dedicated store platforms, but a game as big as Epic’s battle royale probably doesn’t need the help. Fortnite total revenue certainly hasn’t suffered by skipping Steam, and the Android version will likely do just fine.
Leaks suggest the Android edition will be out later this month. In the meantime, dig into our Fortnite season 5 week 4 challenge guide – you don’t want the mobile players to have a chance to take the lead, after all.