Fortnite for Android Samsung exclusive could last for up to four months

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

Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has announced that it will not be releasing the Android version of its game on the Google Play Store. In an email to The Verge, CEO Tim Sweeney said this was in part to avoid the 30% cut Google takes on in-app purchases for games sold through its storefront.

Sweeney explained that that 30 percent cut is a lot when the developers' 70 percent has to cover the costs of development, operations, and support for their game.

"First, Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that's possible".

However, there's quite a big catch in that it won't be available to download on the Google Play Store.

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In contrast, Fortnite can be easily installed on a PC or Mac from Epic Games' own website. In addition to confirming that the game would not be available on the Google Play marketplace and would instead be offered through the Epic website, the studio also discussed the devices that it will support.

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. The game has already proven itself to be insanely successful, not only by finding its way onto millions of devices around the globe but also by managing to rake it more than $100 million in revenue in the time that it's been offered.

It is a virtual certainty that scammer and cybercriminals will use the decision to develop and promote fake versions of the game, in the expectation that unknowing users will download and install their malware.

"On open platforms, 30 per cent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service". Sweeney confirmed that Epic is aware of these issues in his interview with EuroGamer, but boasted of Android users' "freedom to install the software they choose", and cautioned them to download only from trusted sources. After that finishes, you launch the Fortnite Installer, which, unsurprisingly, installs Fortnite. The primary reason Epic turned to the iOS App Store is that Apple does not allow the distribution of iOS apps through unverified channels.

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