ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2018

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

03 August 2018, 10:27 | Jodi Jackson

People playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018. Josh Miller CNET

People playing Fortnite on the Nintendo Switch at E3 2018.                  Josh Miller  CNET

The game makes millions of dollars for Epic, and combined with the fact that the games changes and evolves so rapidly, Google will be missing out big here.

Epic Games' chief executive Tim Sweeney said 30% was "disproportionate" to the contribution Google made. On PC, for example, users download a Fortnite installer to play the game, opting not to make it available on services such as Steam. Open platforms are an expression of freedom: the freedom of users to install the software they choose, and the freedom of developers to release software as they wish. It's a fairly reasonable guess that Fortnite for Android will launch sometime in mid-September.

Speaking about the decision to avoid Google Play, Mr Sweeney told news site The Verge that Epic Games wanted to have a "direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that's possible".

"It's a high cost in a world where game developers' 70 percent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games", he said.

Fortnite has been available on Apple's iOS platform - installable on iPhone and iPad - for quite some time now. The reality of the situation is that the Android OS is open enough to allow companies like Epic Games to invest in rolling their own solution for installing apps without any significant impact, other than potentially the discoverability benefits that the Play Store offers. Epic Games has chose to not distribute the game through the Google Play Store for financial reasons. "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". The second (and more immediate) reason behind this move is to circumvent the profits that Google would take a cut from by putting the game on its Google Play marketplace, of which Google normally takes about 30% from games distributed through its store. If you look at it, the stores on the smartphone platforms actually do very little. Lastly, the CEO states that Android's permission system will help protect users by informing them of what an app will be allowed to do. There's still no set date for when the game will launch on Android. People will attempt to port it to other devices by modifying the APK.

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