Epic Games gives in and finally puts Fortnite on the Google Play Store

Epic Games gives in and finally puts Fortnite on the Google Play Store

Fortnite is an incredibly popular battle royale game that’s available on PC, game consoles, and mobile devices, but unlike most other Android games, Fortnite hasn’t been available on the Google Play Store. The game first launched for Android devices in August of 2018 as a 3-day Samsung Galaxy Apps store exclusive after which the game became available for everyone through Epic Games’ website. Epic Games decided to forego the Play Store to avoid giving Google a 30% cut on revenue, but now, the company has decided to give in and release the game on Google Play.

This shift comes 20 months after launching the Android client outside of the Google Play Store. In the past, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney has heavily criticized both Google and Apple for their revenue cuts. When Epic Games first launched Fortnite outside of Google Play, Tim Sweeney justified the decision as follows:

“The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games…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…30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service.” – Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, speaking to The Verge in 2018

Earlier this year, we learned that Epic Games had requested that Google exempt them from a 30% revenue cut, but this petition was denied by Google. It seems that Epic Games has now reversed course, offering up Fortnite on the Play Store without reducing or eliminating Google’s revenue cut. In a statement, Epic Games told The Verge and Polygon that the company “[came] to a basic realization…[that] Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play Store.” While we haven’t seen evidence that Google has directly targeted Epic Games and Fortnite, Epic Games feels that the cards are stacked against them in the Android ecosystem. For what it’s worth, Epic Games still hopes that Google will reconsider its revenue cut, stating that “we hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field.”

Here’s the company’s full statement:

After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realization:

Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store.

Because of this, we’ve launched Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store. We’ll continue to operate the Epic Games App and Fortnite outside of Google Play, too.

We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field.

Fortnite Mobile is available today on the Google Play Store. You can download the game through the below link. The game can still be downloaded through the Epic Games website, but it’s unclear if this will remain unchanged or if Epic Games will redirect users to the Play Store listing. It’s also unclear what Epic Games plans to do with the Epic Games Store app for Android which still only lists Epic’s own Battle Breakers title.

Fortnite
Fortnite
Developer: Epic Games, Inc
Price: Free+

About author

Mishaal Rahman
Mishaal Rahman

Editor-in-chief at XDA-Developers. I follow AOSP and the Chromium Gerrit to uncover new features, and I also routinely analyze Android applications and device firmware to do the same. Tips/media inquiries: [email protected]