Games News

Fortnite's snub of Play store will cost Google at least $50m

Epic Games
Animated female character firing a weapon off at another person
Fortnite Battle Royale, iOS version

We recently wrote about Epic Games' decision to bypass Google's Play store for the Android launch of Fortnite: Battle Royale and Sensor Tower have basically put a number on our estimations of how much money Google will "lose" - $50 million.

I've put lose in quotation marks but I probably should've used miss out on because you can't really lose what you don't have in the first place. And if beancounters at Sensor Tower are to be believed, and they usually are, Google will miss out on at least $50 million in platform fees until the end of 2018, which is quite the amount for the five remaining months of 2018.

Fortnite: Battle Royale's launch has been much anticipated, not least for completing the circle of the game's availability on everything. Having initially launched for PC and consoles, Fortnite has found its way to iOS, Switch and finally Android, although Google seems to have gotten the shortest end of the proverbial stick. 

Namely, Epic's arrival on mobile started back in March 2018, when Fortnite arrived and immediately took over the App Store. By April 2018, Fortnite left iOS beta, which is when the cash started pouring in. That goes for both Epic and Apple, whose 30 per cent cut on all things going through App Store worked out great.

In fact, SuperData's report on Fortnite iOS's first properly monetised week shows that Epic's game has outperformed PUBG's iOS and Android revenues combined. It is estimated that Fortnite iOS has made more than $180 million so it stands to reason that Apple made $54 million sitting on their behind. 

We're confident that had Epic known things will turn out this way, they would have bypassed the App Store as well, although trying to bypass Apple's controlling clutch on iOS may not be as straightforward as you'd think. Besides, it was probably more of a testing-waters thing.

SensorTowerComparison of PUBG's and Fortnite's revenue on iOS and AndroidFortnite v PUBG

Ultimately though, Epic have learned their lesson and Fortnite's Android beta is already available, albeit initially only on Samsung's devices, due to their Galaxy Note 9 exclusivity deal. If you're interested to see whether your phone will support it once Fortnite properly hits Android, you may want to refer to the official specs page here.

You can find Sensor Tower's report here.