Fortnite maker Epic Games could be getting ready for a big fight with Google. The company today announced that Fortnite for Android will launch on its own launcher, instead of the Google Play Store. Epic Games will make Fortnite’s launcher for Android device available from its official website, which can be users to then install the game on their Android devices. The firm is yet to announce a release date for Fortnite on Android, but it should be just around the corner.
So why exactly is Fortnite ditching the Google Play Store? Well, according to CEO Tim Sweeney, the firm wants to have a “direct relationship” with its customers on platforms where possible. For instance, instead of distributing Fortnite through Steam, the firm has its own launcher on Windows. But the bigger reason behind the move could be to do with the 30% revenue cut on the Google Play Store.
Epic doesn’t seem to be too keen on passing on 30% of its revenue to Google. The firm is making millions out of Fortnite across all platforms so that 30% cut could be a substantial portion of the revenue it makes on Android. “The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent 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.” Sweeney told The Verge.
That’s all good, but it’s likely Google with fire back here. You see, Fortnite is the most talked about game right now, and it’s been growing rapidly recently. The game makes millions of dollars for Epic, and combined with the fact that the games changes and evolves so rapidly, Google will be missing out big here. Fortnite for iOS is available through the App Store, but that’s because Epic doesn’t have any other distribution channels on Apple’s locked-down platform.
And let’s not forget that Google is rumoured to be investing big on a gaming console. So it’ll be fascinating to see whether Google will be picking a fight with Epic here, or whether it’ll maintain a good relationship for the future — where it’ll most likely want Fortnite to be one of the launch titles for its gaming console, considering the game’s popularity is sustained in a few years time.