It’s been over 18 months since Fortnite first made its way to Android. To play the game, though, you’ve needed to sideload it through the Epic Games Store as the popular battle royale title was not available on the official Google Play Store.
That changes today, as you can now find Fortnite on the Play Store for the first time ever. Just like any other game, you can download and install it on your Android device by browsing through the Play Store, no sideloading or Epic Games Store needed.
In a statement given to Polygon, Epic clarifies that the non-Play Store version of Fortnite will still work and see updates and maintenance and the Fortnite on the Play Store will be simultaneously maintained.
Fortnite on the Play Store: What happened?
So what happened to make Epic finally cave and bring Fortnite to the Play Store? According to the company’s statement, it looks like Google’s policies towards Android apps that don’t originate from the official store forced Epic’s hand in the matter. Check out a portion of the statement below:
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.
It’s not hard to read between the lines there. Epic tried valiantly to side-step Google and it’s 30% cut on all profits made from apps on the Play Store. Although Epic did what it could, it eventually realized that Google’s stronghold on the Android ecosystem was causing more problems than it was worth and caved.
It will be interesting to see if Google will change or update any of its policies that relate to games like Fortnite in response to this move by Epic Games. In the meantime, though, feel free to download Fortnite from the Play Store using the link below. As always, the game is free-to-play for all.