In an intriguing new statement, Fortnite developer Epic Games noted they plan to bypass the Google Play store and will instead offer Fortnite directly to Android users. The move comes as Epic Games looks to avoid the 30% profit cut Google that takes from apps on the Play Store.
In an interview with The Verge, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explained:
“The great thing about the internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer required. The 30% store stax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70% must cover the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games.”
Sweeney went on to note: “There’s a rationale for this on console where there’s enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnerships with publishers.”
Right now, Android is one of the few platforms (outside PC and Mac) where a direct offering like this is possible. For consoles like PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, publishers and developers like Epic are likewise forced to utilize the console’s official store when it comes to game downloads and the sale of in-game currency.
Additionally, there’s no way to bypass going through the Apple App Store when launching an app for iOS. Should Fortnite’s direct download approach be successful on Android, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not other companies mirror the move with their own games. What’s more, there’s added incentive to try this approach for indie companies looking to retain 100% control of profits rather than giving up 30% to Google Play.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s better for games to be published directly rather than on Google Play? Let us know down in the comments below!