15 Million People Have Installed Fortnite on Android

Posted on September 8, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, iOS, Mobile with 18 Comments

Epic revealed that over 15 million people have already side-loaded the beta version of Fortnite on their Android devices. This is a pretty impressive milestone given its limited release. And that Epic is bypassing the Google Play Store.

“In the first 21 days since the Fortnite’s launch on Android, interest has been extremely high, with over 23 million players entering our Android beta and over 15 million players installing [the game],” the Fortnite team writes. “While we are in an invite-only phase for Android, our conversion from players being invited to playing is similar to that of the iOS beta.”

For the three people who are unaware, Fortnite is a runaway success story that is already so influential that it is changing how shooter-style video games are made. The title earned over $100 million on iOS in its first 90 days of availability. And it has completely overshadowed PUBG, a game that inspired Fortnite’s creators to copy its basic gameplay.

But Epic went down a very controversial path when it decided to forego the Google Play Store, at least initially on Android. The game launched first on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and has since been available via a limited, invite-only system by which users have to side-load the game via the Internet, bypassing Google’s app store.

Google lashed out at Epic for this immediately by finding and then instantly publicizing a security flaw in the Fornite installer. Epic, as you might imagine, wasn’t amused. And it has addressed this issue, somewhat, in its post.

“The only legitimate source for Fortnite for Android is directly from Epic through the official Fortnite Installer,” the company notes during a discussion of all the fake Fornite installers that have appeared online. “We have hired a third party IP and anti-fraud enforcement agency to expand our policing efforts.”

If only there was a safe app store to use for this kind of thing. I guess that’s how Google justifies the 30 percent it takes.

Anyway. It’s hard to argue with 15 million installs. Especially for an unfinished game that doesn’t support, among other basic functionality, game controllers yet.

“Shipping the same game across all platforms while supporting cross-play presented a unique challenge,” the Fortnite post explains. “Usually, when trying to scale a game down for mobile devices, you simplify the content and even design, in order to fit within the performance constraints of the platform. In Fortnite, Android players can be in the same match with their friends on PC and console, so we must render everything that affects gameplay.”

Given the diversity of Android hardware and the high-end requirements of a game like Fortnite, it is perhaps not surprising that 92 percent of users are running Android 8 Oreo or newer, with most on very new hardware.

“Fortnite for Android [is] the first console and PC game to ship on Android with full cross-play and compatibility and the first blockbuster game to ship outside of the Google Play store,” Epic notes in its final jab at Google. “It was an immense undertaking and learning process, but the rapid adoption by over 15 million Android users shows that this approach is sound and can be very successful.”


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Comments (18)

18 responses to “15 Million People Have Installed Fortnite on Android”

  1. red.radar

    For the three people who are unaware, 

    1 of the three are now informed You can now continue searching for the other two

  2. wright_is

    Google lashed out at Epic for this immediately by finding and then instantly publicizing a security flaw in the Fornite installer. Epic, as you might imagine, wasn’t amused. And it has addressed this issue, somewhat, in its post.

    I'm no Google fan, but Google did inform Epic and waited a full week after the patch had been released, before making it public, in line with their existing rules. I don't call that instantly publicizing the flaw.

  3. Elan Gabriel

    1. 15 millions installs, but how many didn't uninstall it after one session and how many active player ? 15 million install means nothing.
    2. Google Play store is full of scam, rogue and fake apps - it's not a safe haven place as they wish to portray.
  4. Illusive_Man

    A FTP Halo battle royale or some sort of high quality e-sports multiplayer experience should happen.

    Shadowrun maybe?

  5. Chris_Kez

    I'm very curious to see what kind of revenue per player they make on Android as compared to iOS.

  6. ragingthunder

    Can't understand the fascination with mobile gaming - FPS too, at that. I've a Note9 and tried the Fortnite thing as a courtesy. Tiny textures, horrible controlling, almost DOS-era. It must run worse on lowered-specced devices.

    • bsobotta

      In reply to ragingthunder: have to disagree. I love mobile gaming and completely replaced desktop gaming for me and my friends. As I get older getting time to sit down and play games is harder. Mobile makes it possible.

    • SupaPete

      In reply to ragingthunder: fortnite on mobile compared to fortnite running on a nice pc? yes, you are right, it super mega sucks. But that's not the point really.
      Lots of people don't have a gaming computer or console, so then automatically a phone/tablet is the thing they have for gaming (too).
      Then the other aspect is that the phone is the device one always has one, and alsways ready when 5 minutes to kill, so even if for example a home console or Nintendo Switch is such a better gaming device with so much better controls (and usually also way better visuals etc), well, one has the phone with one more often usually..
      Me personally i get to play games properly very rarely nowadays, due to work, family life and all, it is very rare i get to sit down and really play an indepth game for half a day or longer in one go.
      Which i then prefer to do on console or pc, at least on the Switch, but yeah, sadly rarely get to it.
      Mostly some days during a longer vacation which i usually only do 1-2 times a year.
      So way more often i play on the phone, despite i find both the games and the controls and the whole experience so much better on handheld and home consoles and on pc. The phone is just ready right there when i have 5 minutes to kill.
      I think it is a similar situation for many others.
      I think it is a fascinating weird topic how much time we spend on our phones on things we think are basically not worthy to do at all (lengthy) or on the phone when we have more spare time to do better things or the same things in way better form on a different device..

  7. JVarde

    I've read this post twice. I can't find the words "Tim Sweeney" anywhere.

    • SupaPete

      In reply to JVarde: It references another article in which he was mentioned and basically one doesn't have to search long on the blog or podcasts with Paul to find one where he talks negatively about Tim Sweeney regarding the Fortnite released outside the playstore topic, or fortnite being a clone of pubg topic or the Tim Sweeney arguing against UWP topic.

      Look, i like Paul and his work, but regarding these topics he's just way off =)
      For example in this article again it is mentioned that Fortnite's basic gameplay would be copied from PUBG.
      Well, no, because the basic gameplay in fortnite has a lot more elements to it what with the building stuff etc and it already had those parts earlier and then added the battle royale kinda mode aspects later on.
      And it just doesn't make sense to argue any game would copy the battle royale aspects from PUBG or even getting into the game area like that, because no matter how much the PUBG creators want to sue everyone and act like they invented the whole concept, well, guess what, both the word battle royale and the whole concept are not pubg's invention. They appeared in both movies and games before.
      Heck, the pub creator even publicly stated at one point he took the idea from a movie.
      So yeah..

      I don't want to be nitpicky, but as a creator, i actually hate it when someone, like pretty much everyone else, of course bases his creation to some degree on many things that came before (else we would all still be trying to make wheels instead of having cars and what not all) but then acts like everyone else who then makes a further improved and advanced version of that thing would be a copycat of his brilliant innovation and should be blocked, sued etc.
      I hate such dick moves and so i don't find it cool when the PUBG creators try that just as i don't find it cool when Apple or some other group/guy /company . does it. So yeah, then, while i like Paul i don't like it when he over and over repeats such things like Fortnite would have just copied the basic gameplay from PUBG (which in fact did not come up with that great idea in first place) =)

      Add to that the repeated rants on Tim Sweeney, who is well deservedly one of the most respected persons in both the tech and game industries, then also the rants talking Epic down for trying something outside the monopolistic app stores which have gone worse and worse for both developers and consumers on many ends when one really thinks about it and yeah, it just doesn't fit to Paul who on so many other ends has such reasonable and well informed views, so that's why my comment which you seem to have replied to.

  8. PeterC

    >>> If only there was a safe app store to use for this kind of thing

    Well i'm pretty sure someone has been for a while ;-)

    Lets see, cross platform/cross device, focus on games, maybe mobile too, hmmm....

  9. SupaPete

    Paul, you get many things right, but you're way off regarding Tim Sweeney in general and this whole topic in particular, too.

    First of all you summarise Tim like an out of touch looney mad man (i listen to your podcasts which besides this topic i largely agree with and there you pretty much said something exactly like that to describe Tim Sweeney).

    Sorry, but that's just disrespectful nonsense. The guy is one of the leading technology people world wide and one of the leads on the Unreal engine, which next to the Unity engine is one one of the top two most used game engines worldwide, on all platforms and not since yesterday, rather for a good long while.

    So the guy might actually have an idea about technology..

    Epic, besides releasing one of the most popular game engines around has also released many super popular games of course, fortnite is not the first one by far.

    So he also has an idea about releasing games on many platforms.

    He is also nota looney talking down every app store/distribution platform as you summarized it, no, he very intelligently and reasonably explained why on platforms like game consoles where the platform holders actually give the publishers and developers many benefits in return and on top actually often sell hardware in a lossleader model to entice lots of users to buy it to then buy lots of content and things like that, the app store like cut they take makes sense to a degree whereas on a store front like the google play store where the developer gets very little in return which goes beyond a payment system, well, it would make more sense the cut is as small as what a payment service charges.

    And that makes a lot of sense.

    Let me tell you, because as developer i can tell you, that what the mobile app stores really offer the developers has essentially become a massively worse offering every year.

    because there is millions more content and pretty much nothing of value the app store platform holders do to promote your content. Or to in any way foster that any content besides free to play stuff can even be sold well at all anymore.

    Essentially they let their platforms turn into something where to make any money you HAVE TO run ads or micro transactions or subscriptions and release it as "free" up front.

    So that's how much a real "store" they are meanwhile. A store where one can't even sell anything up front for a one time price at all anymore. That's what they offer developers, a store where one can't sell a product up front anymore, only do micro transactions, ads or subscriptions.

    A hyped up app with many downloads gets a bit higher listing in the store, as long as it keeps having super high downloads. guess what, if it already has high downloads they have less need for the promotion, apps with low downloads would need promotion more. Now of course that's the only benefit they offer if one can name it that, that they don't completely hide what you sell at least while it has high downloads, but that's it. So one takes it super happy about it if one can at least get that for a week or two in between, but asking for 30% for that, yes, is becoming a tougher ask by the minute.

    Good on Tim and epic for being in the position where they don't have to play by these monopolistic distribution platform rules as much as all the other smaller devs are forced to.

    Maybe it leads to some more spotlight put on the issue and store platforms having to improve their offering or reduce their cut, that would be great and long overdue.

    and now that we talked about this topic in particular, we can also talk about the other thing you seem to dislike about Tim Sweeney, that he also rattled against MS store and UWP stuff a while back and back in the day against MS wanting to force all to the store and UWP etc. You meanwhile talk like as if that moaning by Tim had been unfounded nonsense. While of course it is super obvious it was totally well founded and deservedly criticising exactly what MS was trying to do there. The only reason it did then not happen is because UWP stuff was so widely bashed and rejected by media and users to the degree that MS had to basically revert all of their UWP ambitions one by one.

    And you yourself actually agree that these moves by MS were nonsense, no? We all celebrate they don't go through with the nonsense Skype UWP app and instead continue with the much better working more feature complete x86 desktop app now, no?

    Tim back then when he criticised UWP and the MS store distribution model for them had basically moaned about MS trying to force a new monopolistic distribution model for "modern" windows apps which could have only be gotten via the windows store.

    MS counter argued with nonsense that no no, anyone could make a uwp distribution platform and release uwp apps on it.

    Guess what, we're in 2018 and there is still no other way to get UWP apps than from the MS app store.

    So yes, of course Tim was totally right. Because who in the world would make a UWP app store why?

    To this day one can's just easily take a UWP app bundle and just send it to someone and he can just run it.

    Nor can one right click a desktop app and choose "turn into safe uwp app" or something like that.

    no, that would have actually made the concept usable, but no, that's not what MS wanted to do there.

    And that to this day MS is still trying again and again to push the concept of the apps model where one can only get the apps from their store, this iteration now with S mode which one still can only switch out of but not switch forth and back between windows home/pro and s mode nor set at least as admin which desktop apps and games to still run in S mode proves over and over that a) Tim was and still is totally right with his complaints regarding this topic and b) that MS is still just as clueless regarding this topic and how to actually make it a useful feature for users rather than just a ridiculous attempt to push users to use store apps.

    So yeah, in summary Tim super hits the nail on these topics and sorry Paul, but you're way off on them.

  10. FalseAgent

    well at least Tim Sweeney is consistent for his hate for locked down distribution platforms.

  11. wright_is

    “We have hired a third party IP and anti-fraud enforcement agency to expand our policing efforts.”

    It would be interesting how much they are spending on this service... How does it compare to the 30% that Google takes?

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