The forthcoming Android version of Epic Games’ Fortnite will not be available to purchase via the Google Play Store marketplace.
In an email interview with The Verge, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney revealed that the Android version of Fortnite will only be available directly from Fortnite’s website. Sweeney said: “Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible. The great thing about the Internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required.”
Sweeney also revealed that the decision was coloured by a desire to avoid having to pay Google its 30 per cent cut of all transactions involving games distributed via the Google Play Store – which would apply to the in-app purchases from which Fortnite makes its money. He said: “The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 per cent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games. 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.”
But on open platforms like Android: “30 per cent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service.” Epic had no choice but to make Fortnite available via Apple’s App Store (subject to similarly punishing middle-man charges as Google Play), since that provides the only means of getting apps onto most Apple devices.
As yet, Epic Games has not announced when the Android version of Fortnite will be released. For more news, keep an eye on Fortnite’s website.