Games News

Fortnite Android will skip Play Store, run on only 10% of devices

Epic Games
A tatooed woman with retro airforce headwear shooting an M16
Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version

Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney has recently revealed that Fortnite: Battle Royale's arrival on Android devices will not be through Google's Play store, as Epic finds the latter's 30 per cent cut of all revenue generated to be a bit too much.

Sweeney stressed that even though Google has plenty of upsides, "the 30 per cent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers' 70 per cent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games". He said Epic is looking for a more direct relationship with their customers but we doubt anyone needs to look past the 30 per cent.

Think about it, with Fortnite racking up the sort of numbers that would make you invade a sovereign country, Google would be making ludicrous amounts of money on Epic's account, no pun intended. For instance, Fortnite's first properly monetised week on iOS earned the company $3.7 million, 30 per cent of which would be a nice, binary-looking sum of $1,110,000.

Naturally, the Apple Reich leaves little leeway in these things, so Epic is probably forking out the cash required on the iOS side, which is why Sweeney was still full of praise for Google and their contributions to open platforms. He pointed out that Epic has been doing something similar with Unreal Engine 4, since "openness creates an attractive, thriving ecosystem". Nevertheless, it reeks of a bone of courtesy thrown in Google's general direction.

As for Fortnite on Android, it's coming alright but later this summer. Sweeney added that the game "requires a recent high-end Android smartphone", which means not all devices will be able to run it. He did provide some numbers however, estimating that from around 2.5 billion Android smartphones around at the moment, some 250 million are Fortnite-ready.

Epic GamesA tatooed woman with retro airforce headwear shooting an M16Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version

Sweeney was never a fan of Apple's and Google's hefty cuts and he was quite vocal about it too. You can't blame Epic for hypocrisy either, since they're leading by example here - the company recently upped the share made by Unreal Engine marketplace sellers to 88 per cent. You could argue it's easy, what with making $2 million a day but hey - nobody else did it.

You can find Sweeney's interview with GamesIndustry here.