When Fortnite comes to Android, you won’t be able to download it through the Google Play app store.
Instead, Android owners who want in on some Fortnite action will have to download the game through developer Epic Games’ website, The Verge reported Friday and Epic Games confirmed. Despite the fact that most Android users get most of their apps from the Google Play store, the reasoning behind Epic’s decision isn’t all that complicated.
According to a statement from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent via email, there are two driving factors behind this: fewer walls between players and developers, and money.
“First, Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible,” Sweeney said. “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.”
If Epic has the means to do that, it makes sense, because the company will have more control over distribution, both of the game itself and updates.
The second part of the equation has to do with Google’s 30% cut off of profits. The services Google provides simply isn’t worth it for a company that already has the infrastructure that Epic has.
“The 30% store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70% must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games,” Sweeney said.
“There’s a rationale for this on console where there’s enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers. But on open platforms, 30% is 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.”
Although there isn’t a release date set for Fortnite on Android yet — it’s the last major platform on which the game is not available — rumors are swirling that it will be coming as a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 exclusive for 30 days. That phone is likely coming out very soon.
What we do know is that Epic will be making as much money as it can in the process.