By now you’ve probably heard the rumors that Fortnite will be launching alongside the Galaxy Note 9 in a few days, probably, but it turns out it might not be showing up on the Play Store that same day. Or ever, if Epic’s plans shake out.
Instead of showing up on Google’s de facto app store, users will instead have to grab the game directly from Epic’s website. It’s brave, but that could be a big payoff for Epic.
When Fortnite launched on mobile earlier this year, Epic did go through Apple’s App Store, but that was likely because they didn’t really have a choice. Users can’t install apps from third-party sites or stores on an iPhone (not easily, anyway) so you either go with the App Store and give Apple their cut, or you can’t join the platform. But now that they’re launching on Android, if they can get a large install base without Google’s help, they’ll be able to avoid the revenue split from in-app purchases that other apps have to pay.
Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, claims they’re doing this to maintain a closer relationship with players. On PC, for example, Fortnite is downloaded through the Epic Games launcher instead of Steam, keeping users in Epic’s ecosystem as often as possible. Plus, no revenue split. That’s a big one.
Ultimately, this looks like Epic trying to treat Android more like a PC, as opposed to Apple’s platform being treated more like an Xbox or PlayStation. There are definitely concerns with directing users to download third-party software, but that’s also a risk on an actual computer and gaming is thriving there, too, so who knows?
This move is also guaranteed to strain any relationship that they’ve had with Google, and it’s going to be on Epic to handle all of the marketing since casual users won’t be naturally finding Fortnite while browsing the Play Store.
source: The Verge