Fortnite is one of the most popular games out right now and Google is certainly missing out on a lot of revenue as Epic Games’ biggest hit will not be available on the Google Play Store. The game will instead be available from Epic’s servers cutting Google out completely.
Unlike on iOS where Apple completely controls where you get your apps i.e the App Store, on Android devices users can choose to get their apps from anywhere they want. Unlike most developers who rely on the Google Play Store for distribution of their apps, Epic feels that Fortnite can draw enough interest to allow them to avoid needing a third-party distributor. This allows Epic to save on the commissions that would otherwise go to Google.
Fortnite has generated over $180 million in just a few months when it was made available in late March. This results in $54 million of commissions for Apple going by their 30% cut.
The userbase of Android is much higher than iOS so even if the Google Play Store doesn’t charge fees as high as Apple, its still a huge loss for the company, at least $50 million as suggested by data analysts.
Google isn’t very happy about this as they seem to put Fortnite’s main competitor PUBG at the top of search results when someone searches for the aforementioned game. They also display the message that “Fortnite Battle Royal by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play”, this not only includes a silly typo but its the first time Google has gone out to inform users that an app is not available on Google Play.
Analysts are concerned that a game as big as Fortnite being installed via enabling “install via unknown sources” could lead to a lot of unaware users being exposed to other malicious apps and could lead to a trend followed by other big developers. However, the Fortnite Android Installer displays the following warning after it is installed so I don’t we should all be that concerned:
The Fortnite Android installer pushes a notification when you open the app for the first time telling you to disable the unknown sources option you had to turn on to install it. pic.twitter.com/uxFJOxMCUX
— Michael West 👨💻 (@itsmichaelwest) August 9, 2018
Let’s see how the situations pan out in the coming months.