The decision by Epic Games to take the odd approach of releasing Fortnite Battle Royale on Android exclusively through its own website, as opposed to through Google Play, is set to cost Google around $50m in platform fees during the remainder of this year alone.
According to mobile app store intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Fortnite has grossed over $180m on iOS devices since its launch as an invite-only beta in March that eventually expanded to all App Store customers. Alongside Fortnite’s iOS success, Apple has made more than $54m from the game – thanks to the 30 per cent cut it gets from all in-app spending that takes place via apps within its store.
Fortnite is predicted to see its launch revenue on Android to match, or even surpass, the amount it made in the first several months of its iOS arrival. But there are concerns that, by avoiding Google Play, Epic Games could be making it more difficult for people to download the game, particular on older Android versions. In addition, experts have pointed out that people who download the game could be open to more security risks and malware attacks.
There’s also a worry that unsuspecting Google Play users could be caught out by fake copycat apps taking advantage of them if they search for the game on the app store. To counteract the possibility of this, Google has – for the first time ever – placed a disclaimer on searches for the game stating that “Fortnite Battle Royal [sic] by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play”.