Fortnite for Android has never been available through the Google Play Store, that is, until now.
Since Fortnite launched on Android, Epic has refused to sign up to the Play Store and therefore bypassed paying Google its 30 percent fee on purchases. However, this week Epic came to the “basic realization” that the disadvantages, as imposed by Google, far outweigh paying the fee.
In a statement given to Polygon, Epic explained, “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.”
Fortnite is now free to download on compatible Android devices through the Play Store for free. Google, will of course benefit if you decide to purchase anything in the Fortnite app, which is what Epic took issue with. However, the huge user base selecting which games to play through the Play Store will likely far outweigh the 30 percent lost to Google in the long run.
This decision by Epic is nothing, if not timely. With the world in lockdown over the pandemic, more people than ever are looking for new ways to distract themselves at home. Fortnite is certainly a very easy way of regularly entertaining yourself, and Epic will be hoping you spend some money while doing so.