When Fortnite finally launches for Android, you won’t find it on Google’s Play Store, Epic Games confirmed on Friday. The reason? Economic efficiency, according to Tim Sweeney, the studio’s CEO. By bypassing Google Play, Epic will avoid the 30 percent store tax.
“The 30 percent 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,” Sweeney said in an email to The Verge.
Granted, Fortnite is free to download. But the studio doesn’t want Google getting a cut of in-app purchases. Considering how popular Fortnite has become over the past several months, it’s a bold decision on Epic’s part. It’s hard to think of any other mobile game being distributed outside of Google Play and being successful.
Epic still hasn’t revealed when Fortnite will be available for Android, but when it finally does launch, players will be able to download it directly from Epic. Recently, a rumor claimed the game would launch alongside the Galaxy Note 9, which is slated to be unveiled on August 9.
The game previously launched on iOS through the App Store, but Apple’s strict guidelines don’t allow developers to easily offer mobile apps outside of Apple’s marketplace. Google does, which is why Epic has decided to go this route. Will Google eventually crack down and follow Apple’s lead? That remains to be seen.
As for whether skirting Google Play poses a security risk, Sweeney isn’t concerned.
“Gamers have proven able to adopt safe software practices, and gaming has thrived on the open PC platform through many sources,” Sweeney said.
Fortnite for Android will likely launch as early as next week.