The rumored Fortnite Samsung Galaxy Note 9 exclusive could be just the beginning. Today, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney has confirmed to The Verge that the mobile game will be distributed from their website and not Google Play.
This makes the release date of Fortnite for Android in general move way back to November or December of 2018.
Earlier this week, a leak revealed that the Android version of Fortnite would not be available through the Google Play marketplace. "There's a similar procedure in adjusting permissions when running Fortnite itself for the first time, but after that, the title sits on your smartphone and loads up exactly like any standard game you may have grabbed from Google Play". That means distributing the software directly to them, taking payment through Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, and other options, and not having a store take 30 percent.
Rather than being uploaded to Google Play and being offered through the Play Store, Epic Games is essentially rolling out its own Fortnite app store in an effort to bank the 30% that would generally go to Google. "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".
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Fortnite is a platform-driving game that has proven it can generate hundreds of millions of dollars a month, and even on mobile Fortnite Battle Royale is driving multiple millions of dollars monthly from in-app purchases.
Sweeney was also one of the original and most vocal critics of the Microsoft Store and the Universal Windows Platform, arguing that they would enable Microsoft to control what apps and games Windows users can install on their machines.
"The 30% store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers' 70% must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games", Sweeney said. "There's a rationale for this on console where there's an enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers". It is also available on the iPhone and iPad via Apple's app store, where Apple takes a 30% cut of sales. He's specifically referring to platforms like Steam, Battle.net, etc.