Friday, 14 December, 2018

Fortnite set to launch on Android phones - but there's a catch

Fortnite Mobile Won't Be Available on Google Play Store, EPIC Reveals Why Fortnite Is Ditching the Google Play Store
Troy Mann | 04 August, 2018, 16:41

The move appears to be financially motivated, as Epic Games will not have to share the profits they make from in-game V-Bucks sales on Android with Google. First, Epic wants to have a "direct relationship" with its customers, claiming the "Internet and the digital revolution" has made that process easier than ever. The second, likely bigger, reason, is that Epic doesn't want to share its money with Google, which would take a 30% cut if the game was on the Google Play Store.

Fortnite Battle Royale has become a global hit and has more than 125 million players worldwide. Instead, Fortnite will release its own installer software via the Fortnite website, then allow people to download the game from there. With a huge and ostensibly trustworthy game publisher instructing its players to disable the outside sources security check on their phones, malware distributors need only expend a tiny amount of effort to make their previously shady-looking security bypass look like Epic's legitimate instructions on how to play the game.

The multiplayer shooter is available on iOS systems like the iPad and iPhone as well as traditional video game consoles like the Nintendo Switch.

However, novice users are typically discouraged from doing so, because apps from unknown sources could pose a security risk.

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Play is Google's official store for Android apps and the company uses a layered set of automated and human filters for detecting and removing potentially harmful applications from the store.

Most apps can't get away with making users jump through those hoops, but Fortnite, which already has more than 125 million players, presumably can. For instance, instead of distributing Fortnite through Steam, the firm has its own launcher on Windows. This means that Epic would have released Fortnite the same way on iOS, if only Apple didn't require apps to be vetted before they made it out to the public.

Even before release, fake info on Fortnite for Android is rampant on YouTube and other networks. Since that was the only information available at the time, the assumption was that after that 30-day period, anyone would be able to download and install the game.

Epic doesn't seem to be too keen on passing on 30% of its revenue to Google.

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