- The popular game Fortnite for Android won’t be released on the Google Play Store.
- Instead, gamers will have to download and install the game directly from Epic.
- This sets a dangerous precedent as it opens users to the possibility of installing malicious software.
Earlier this week, a rumor popped up via some hidden code on the Fortnite website that Epic Games might bypass the Google Play Store when the popular battle royale game finally gets an Android release. Now we have confirmation that this is, in fact, the company’s plan.
Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed the release plan today with The Verge, citing the “economic efficiency” of avoiding the 30 percent cut Google earns from all app sales on the Play Store.
This means that in order to install Fortnite for Android, users will have to enable app installs from unknown sources. This is a bold move that could have some negative repercussions, as it opens up the possibility that users will unknowingly install malicious software before or after installing Fortnite.
Sweeney did not comment on when Fortnite for Android will actually launch, however. This is likely due to the rumor that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will be the exclusive Android handset with the ability to install the game. Since the Note 9 doesn’t launch until next week, Epic Games is likely unable to disclose that information due to its rumored Samsung partnership.
Fortnite is already available on iOS and is downloaded via the Apple App Store. Epic Games had no choice in this matter, as it is not nearly as easy to install apps from outside the official app store on an iPhone as it is to do so with an Android device.
With the Android release, Sweeney cited the economic advantage of releasing Fortnite outside the Play Store as well as the company’s desire to maintain a direct connection with its fans. “Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible,” Sweeney told The Verge.
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.
As for the issues of Android security and Epic Games setting a dangerous precedent regarding training gamers on how to install unregulated software from the internet, Sweeney brushes them aside: “Gamers have proven able to adopt safe software practices, and gaming has thrived on the open PC platform through many sources.”
While this is true, it still seems like a bold move for Epic Games to make this decision for consumers rather than work with Google to develop the safest and most efficient way to distribute something as massively popular as Fortnite.
Google has yet to comment on the news.
What do you think? Is this a dangerous move? Or is it time to leave the security of the Play Store behind? Let us know in the comments.