In defiance of Google’s monopoly on Android apps, Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, confirmed in an email to The Verge that they will not be distributing their popular game on Google Play Store. Instead, the company decided to take an unconventional route to avoid the 30% revenue cut Google takes from each in-app purchase on its platform. We will update the APK download link here once the game is out on August 9th.
The decision is unprecedented for a game of Fortnite’s magnitude and it has been splitting opinions worldwide since its announcement. Some stakeholders see Epic Games’ stance courageous and they think it will empower other smaller companies to follow a similar approach but others consider the decision dangerous because it puts Fornite players at potential risk as opposed to the safety of Google Play Store.
The American company has repeatedly expressed their desire to be in direct contact with its fanbase and their wish to stay as far as possible from intermediaries unless it’s absolutely necessary. Epic Games has previously decided against distributing their game to PC gamers through popular online stores such as Steam, Humble Bundle, or GOG. Only two 3rd party stores offer the game, namely Nintendo’s eShop and Sony’s official PlayStation Store.
Although Epic Games decided to take a controversial route to bring Fortnite to Android, Tim Sweeney, the company’s CEO, praised the efforts made by companies like Google and Microsoft to embrace open platforms. Time mentioned that he has been advocating for open platforms since 2016. The relatively young CEO discussed his definition of open source platforms in this tweet. Based on Tom Sweeney’s beliefs its expected to see Epic Games follow a similar approach to releasing video games from now on, even after the Fortnite craze ends.
Despite a sequence of controversial decisions and unconventional launching methods, Fortnite became the most popular game on Earth within less than a year, outshining its closest competitor PUPG. The free-to-play Battle Royale game celebrated its first birthday in July with a whopping 4.6 million players and more than 1 million concurrent users. As of May 2018, it was reported that at least 125 million video game players played Fortnite at least once since its release.
In spite of being a free-to-play game, Fortnite: Battle Royale has raised more than one million dollars in in-game purchases and has raised Epic Games market value to 6 billion dollars. Not only that but Fortnite also became the most successful free-to-play video game of all-time on consoles. The Fortnite craze has also opened a gateway for streamers like Ninja to rise to fame.
As stated in this Forbes article, the massively successful game helped to generate over 1 billion dollars in revenue worldwide from in-game purchases and streaming-related income. The article also reports that stream viewers watched an average of 600 million hours of Fortnite since the game’s release. Reports also show an incredible rise in the popularity of the Battle Royale genre inspired by the wide-spreading Fortnite phenomenon.
Epic Games History
The Fortnite developer jumped to the fore, taking the spotlight from giant publishers such as Blizzard and Activision, within a short time but the North Carolina-based company had a long history that preceded its extreme success. Originally founded under the name of Potomac Computer Systems in 1991, the company developed and continues to support the popular Unreal Engine which also supports their video games.
In 1998, one year before changing their name to Epic MegaGames, the then-7-year-old company released their first successful franchise, Unreal. The last installment of the Unreal franchise was released in 2007, one year after the release of their second-most successful game Gears of War. Despite the massive success of the Gears of War franchise as an Xbox exclusive, Epic Games decided to end a long-term partnership with the powerful console to release Fortnite as an independent publisher.
Fortnite on Android is expected to be released on the 9th of August along with the unveiling of Samsung’s Note 9 but to this day, potential players are not sure if they’ll be able to enjoy the game without any risk. More details are expected to be unveiled at a later date but as of now, what has only been confirmed is that players will not be able to make any in-game purchases before specifying a method of payment first. A procedure that will help reducing risk but not quite eliminate it.
Tom Sweeney also confirmed to The Verge that Android users will be able to play with players from other platforms, namely PlayStation, Switch, and PC. However, this is applicable only to Team Matches wherein friends can team up together against populations from different platforms. Tom Sweeney also confirmed that development of further modes will continue after the game’s release and more announcements are yet to come.
For now, what you can do is enjoy your favorite Android games, stay away from dangerous fake APKs, keep an eye on this article, and we’ll update it with the link to Fortnite’s APK upon release!