Fortnite to be directly distributed on Android to avoid Google's 30% cut

Fortnite to be directly distributed on Android to avoid Google's 30% cut
Fortnite is a massively popular game (although maybe not so much with our audience here) and one of the big unknowns for the game has surrounded its Android release. Epic Games has finally announced at least part of those plans and it's a bit of a surprise: Fortnite will not be released through the Google Play Store, according to Epic Games. Instead, the game will be directly distributed via the Epic Games website and a Fortnite game installer.

The rumors have claimed Fortnite would be a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 timed-exclusive, and there's no reason to think that is incorrect at this time. But, after that is done, Epic Games has officially confirmed it will dodge the Google Play Store. Epic Games claimed two main reasons for this: first is to maintain a direct relationship with customers (which seems like a silly marketing rationalization) and second is to avoid the 30% cut that Google takes from Play Store purchases (we'll bet this is the real reason.)

This likely means that if there were an option to avoid the Apple App Store, Epic Games would have done so, because it has to pay the same 30% cut on iOS, but Apple doesn't allow any sideloading. Android does, so that opens up the option for Fortnite to be distributed via an installer APK. However, the other side of this is that it will likely lead to a ton of cracked versions of Fortnite spreading around the internet and packing malware. There are already plenty of fake Fortnite APKs out on the web, but this type of distribution could make it easier for hackers to use the real version of the game and just slip in some bad code or hijack the in-app payment methods for the game.

What do you all think? Are you even interested in Fortnite for Android? Do you agree with Epic's decision to avoid the Play Store?

source: The Verge



1. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

This is bad news really. Sure Google should drop their take rate I'll give them that. But this will lead to kids shutting off security and warnings about side loading and apk's of all sorts will start appearing and of course before Epic releases theirs. Come and get your malware folks while it's red hot.

3. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Malware? They can do the same thing with the game as Nintendo has done with the Switch game. Each game comes with a encrypted signature that can't be changed or altered. If another player install a hacked version, and the original signature is the same and the player is banned from online usage of the game. They can only play on their local device. if Android devs designed apps to have a unique signature attached to each download that can't be changed, then if someone just give their APK to another person to download, it would fail to work. This would help stall piracy and malware. Also if you download the game directly from Epic, there won't be malware. malware only comes from BS hacked/cracked applications. Even iOS has malware, as there are devs who put it right in their apps.

5. toukale

Posts: 669; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

A lot of people are saying its to avoid Google's 30% cut, I don't think that's it at all. It has everything to do with piracy on the android platform for the most part. The 30% is secondary as far as I can tell.

7. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

If it has to do with piracy. Then Epic could add the monitization and activation part through Epics own website. What Epic is doing now is so much worse, because Epic is purposely circumventing users device security. There is no need to get full access to a user's Android smartphone just to play a game. Remember Google doesn't force monetization through them, only Apple does.

10. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Sideloading apps doesn't give the app full access to the smartphone. It still needs to ask permission to things like storage, camera, location,etc. What is bad, is that the user has to turn on sideloading, which can be a security issue.

17. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

This is my point. Why have sideloading of an app, especially a game that even you said could be checked, paid for, and verified via server side? I don't and won't trust Epic for doing this.

11. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I am sure it's 100% to avoid the 30% cut. Piracy isn't really an issue when a) the game is free to play b) in-game purchases can be easily checked with the server.

21. vincelongman

Posts: 5753; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Lol how does this help reduce piracy? If anything it encourages it since it requires the user to allow app installs from unknown sources Wouldn't be surprised if heaps of people download the apk from a lookalike site or see ads for cracked/hacked version and install those too And like other people have said, the game is free with IAPs IAPs can be verified on their severs like what EA does with their Android games

2. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

There is a game on IOS an Android called Pokemon Trading Card Game. When you purchase cards from the store, they include special coded cards which allow you to add your purchased desk or specialty cards onto the online game. The cards you get in the desk don't always match the deck you bought. The codes give you the special cards in the deck as an exact match. Apple has banned this capability from their version, because you can purchase the cards outside the game and add them, and Apple doesn't get a cut of the money. And also inside the game, you can purchase decks with tickets you earn in the game without using actual cash. They also tried to ban this feature too, but were not able to do so, because this is an exact condition of the game. Isn't this also why Spotify and Apple had an issue, because Apple didn't like the fact you could install Spotify app, but pay for your subscription outside of iCloud where Apple wouldn't get a cut?

4. toukale

Posts: 669; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Not true with the spotify issue. You can go to spotify website and joined there and simply use the spotify app as just a player. What Apple does not allow you to do is basically putting a link into your app, that will take the user to your website and sign up that way. Think of it as a referral, you can go directly to spotify and sign up, but if you want to do so using the app, you have to give Apple their cuts, simple as that.

8. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

What the hell does Apple have to do with this story whatsoever, Techie?

6. Cat97

Posts: 1978; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Really, 30% is a huge cut. The developers are right trying to evade this tax.

9. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

Google doesn't force monetization through them, that is only from Apple. Many Google Play apps can go to their own site to get money. For that matter you could even get app activation as well. Something that Epic should have done for the Android app. Epic could make the game free on the Play store, then have an activation feature that goes to Epics own website, with monetization as well.

12. AbhiD

Posts: 856; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

This should be a business case study of "How to destroy one's chances" ! Their game is already extremely late to the party when slowly and slowly surging popularity of Battle Royal games is dwindling. I no longer see a lot of my friends who used to play PUBG like crazy on their phones. Add to that they want to make this game Samsung Note 9 exclusive for 1 month and 4 months for rest of the lineup. Before this thing is even available for normal users out there, people would have long forgotten that it even launched. Not to mention they don't even want to launch it on Playstore, consider 60-70% installs gone already. Whatever user base is left will make a choice between PUBG and Fortnite and i don't even think Android users will prefer that cartoony, kiddish Fortnite over PUBG, that is solely reserved for iPhone users. An Epic failure from Epic games. Good Luck with the massive fail. And please don't forget to fire the guy who suggested you all this after this bombs.

13. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1109; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

So does the 30% cut come from in-app purchases like V-Bucks? Also they are probably doing it seeing that the game raked in over $100 million on iOS, which means they lost out on over $30 million to Apple.

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5753; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Problem for Epic is sideloading on iOS rquires using xcode, which most people wont know how to do or wouldnt have access to a mac I wonder if this will make Google require root access for sideloading in the future I hope not but I wont be surprised if more companies follow Epic

14. talon95

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

30% is too much, way too much.

24. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It's the same with Apple's app store or even Microsoft Store.. But at least you can side load on android, and make purchase outside playstore's payment system.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2660; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

My question is: Will they pass any or all of that savings to the user?

16. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Hahahahahaha... Hell no.

18. midan

Posts: 3121; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

This is just horrible If developers stop putting their apps and games to Play Store, it is atleast somehow safe, but If developers are offering their stuff everywhere it will be horrible thing for users. Let's not forget most of smartphone users have no idea what they are doing, so they can very easily infect their device thinking Yes this is it let's download it. Someone could do copy of Fortnite site and offering the "game" there and lot of people would download it.

19. magicon

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

i support them fully

27. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Are you saying they should pull it from IOS as well?

20. boriqua2000

Posts: 260; Member since: Mar 11, 2009

I compare fortnite to kim Kardashian. They are both really tiresome and played out.

23. jasaero

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

My opinion is this is always fine...but I think these devs and software houses should reduce end user pricing for whatever they are saving in these different schemes or through different stores. If they have less cost on Play store than apple store...should be cheaper on play store. Same goes for direct from them...reduce the final price by that much. I'm all for cutting out middlemen...but give me/the user the savings when you do!!!

25. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

In a recent Q&A Tim Sweeney said that permissions needed by the game include full access to the users contact lists, camera and mic. Data mining much?

26. sabretigger

Posts: 84; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Games are evil. They should be abolished and replaced with textbooks and porn.

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