Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
IT | By Darin Griffith

Fortnite Android APK launch: Beware the download

Fortnite Android APK launch: Beware the download

Epic Games has confirmed that when Fortnite Battle Royale releases on Android phones it won't be sold through the Google Play store. As you'd expect, he mentioned that avoiding the 30 percent cut platform owners like Google typically take from game revenue was a motivator behind the decision. 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. Epic Games has its own launcher for games like Fortnite and Unreal Tournament, keeping a direct relationship with players and cutting out third-party services like Steam.

Source code deciphering done by some XDA Developers users (EDIT: Apparently Reddit user thesbros) found some very interesting factoids about the Fortnite release on Android.

Fortnite is already available to download on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch via each platform's official store.

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The studio has not yet announced when the game will arrive on Android. The code the site pulled up included Android-specific instructions, and these call for sideloading the app directly from Epic's site instead of redirecting users to a Google Play Store installation.

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

Epic Games can go down this route on Android because the platform allows users to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. That's not the case on Android, though, which lets you install apps from unknown sources fairly easily.

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The developer didn't confirm when the game is going to be released.

So why exactly is Fortnite ditching the Google Play Store?

With people playing the game so regularly due to it being free and time-limited, soon enough players are driven to pay to select their appearance and to carry out different challenges. Fortnite made $15 million during its first three weeks on iOS alone - we're no mathematicians, but 30% of that is a lot of money. 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.

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Of course, there is another way of looking at it: it could prove to be a useful "teachable moment" for a generation of users who have grown used to assuming that all software is safe and you can run anything on your device.

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