Epic Games has launched Fortnite via the official Google Play Store, but it doesn’t seem very thrilled about it.
The popular battle royale title has arrived for Android users about 18 months after it technically released as a third-party downloadable from outside of Google’s marketplace. Epic suggested it’s finally launching on the Play Store only because Google actively warns Android users of potential security issues – even if it’s not true – in any software download not made through its Play Store.
Epic Games provided the following statement to Polygon:
“After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realization:
Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store.
Because of this, we’ve launched Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store. We’ll continue to operate the Epic Games App and Fortnite outside of Google Play, too.
We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field.”
Keep in mind, now that Fortnite has released through the official Android channel, Epic will have to pay Google a 30 per cent cut for all in-app purchases made in Fortnite. Also, Epic CEO’s, Tim Sweeney, has been very critical of Google’s app store tax in the past.
In 2018, for instance, he said Google and Apple’s app store taxes were disproportionate to the cost of the services that their platforms provided to developers, which he summed up as “payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service”.