Fortnite has been one of the most popular video games in the world for a while now, but its Android version has only been distributed through the company’s own website. That decision was made over Google’s 30% cut for distribution that Epic Games called “illegal.” Well, now Fortnite for Android has gone live on the Play Store, 30% cut and all.
Earlier this year, we reported that Epic Games had submitted Fortnite to the Play Store in the hopes that Google would give them an exception to the 30% cut. Google did not do that, so Epic stubbornly kept distributing the app independently as an APK. In a previous interview, Epic called Google’s practice of requiring Play Store billing “illegal” and that it had asked Google to remove that “expectation.”
Now, a few months later, Fortnite is available on the Google Play Store.
Epic Games says that it has come to the “basic realization” that it’s very difficult to distribute an app on Android outside of the Play Store. Google’s security protections on Android often bring up pop-ups recommending sideloaded apps to be removed or, in some cases, even blocking their installation.
Epic Games provided the following statement on Fortnite’s arrival on the Play Store 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.
Fortnite for Android will continue to be distributed outside of the Google Play Store, but users will get the same experience — with the addition of Google Play billing — by downloading from the Play Store. Of course, they won’t have to turn off security measures to get the game, too.
More on Fortnite:
- Epic submits Fortnite for Android to Play Store in hopes of special billing exception, fails
- Fortnite Installer replaced with Epic Games app ahead of store’s debut on Android
- Fortnite for Android has 15 million players and counting, Epic talks fragmentation
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