'Fortnite' to increase profits on Android by bypassing Google Play

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

And while a lot of Android users have probably never done that, the mega popularity of Fortnite means that many folks will probably happily grab the Fortnite Installer to get the game onto their Android phone.

On Android, would-be Fortnite players will need to navigate to Epic's website to download an APK that will prompt users to adjust their security settings specific to that one file and then download the game in full. If Epic were to distribute Fortnite through Google Play, it would have to forfeit 30 percent of the revenue from in-app purchases to Google.

Fortnite Battle Royale has become a global hit and has more than 125 million players worldwide.

"Once it goes live, Fortnite for Android will be easy to find with a simple web search on Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, just as with Fortnite for PC and Mac", he says.

The game is free to play, although gamers can choose to buy cosmetic customisations such as clothes and dance moves for their character. The game dominates social media on YouTube and Twitch, and it's so popular with teenagers and school-age children that the iOS version caused a brief panic among teachers and parents when it bowed earlier this year, a la Pokemon Go.

As expected, the main reason why Fortnite won't be distributed via the Play Store is financial.

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. Company CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed this was indeed the case yesterday, August 3. For instance, instead of distributing Fortnite through Steam, the firm has its own launcher on Windows.

Even before release, fake info on Fortnite for Android is rampant on YouTube and other networks. On open platforms like PC and Android, it's possible for them to get the software direct from us.

The ideal solution is of course would be two-fold: Google scales back its 30 per cent money grab in order to make some money rather than no money; and Epic puts some of its vast profits into a cyber-security educational effort for the young people playing its game.

Fortnite has been available on Apple's iOS platform - installable on iPhone and iPad - for quite some time now.

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