Alarmingly, Fortnite will not be on the Play Store when it launches for Android because money

    
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There were rumors about this, but now it’s a known reality. Fortnite will not be launching on the Google Play store when it arrives on Android devices, instead requiring would-be players to download the game and install it directly. According to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, the reason is pretty simple: Google takes a 30% cut of anything launched through the app store, and the company would rather keeps all of the money through in-app purchases rather than just 70% of it.

He also mentions that Epic likes having a direct relationship with its consumers, but let’s be cynical here for a moment. It’s worth pointing out that Fortnite is already making quite a bit of money without operating through any existing digital storefront; it’s also worth pointing out that Android systems actually allow you to sideload apps, while iOS does not. There’s no word on just when the title will be releasing, but if you’ve been watching the official store page to find out the day… well, you can stop doing that now.

Of course, as Android Central points out, this kind of lust for cash isn’t harmless, as the Google Play store isn’t just there to steal pennies from Epic but is itself a serious security measure. In the absence of Google Play support, it’s a good bet that malicious actors will be spinning up malware versions of the game and distributing them, pretending to be Epic, and it’ll work too, as you must manually choose to disable the third-party app security option in order to sideload the game. Moreover, the Play Store has a parental guard feature that stops kids from running amok with the family credit card. Will Epic protect purchases or offer an appeals process? Who knows.

“In the past, this exact same loophole has lead to data leaks and huge problems with data privacy,” Android Central argues. “Instead of keeping their users safe, many of whom are children, Epic Games has decided it’s cool to roll the dice on your behalf and hope you follow their instructions.”

Source: The Verge via Kotaku
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kgptzac

Yes Epic is being extraordinarily greedy, but the security concern is overblown. Android apk sideloading isn’t a pandora box: download the real apk from the official website and the app itself should handle further updates. The real problem is that for people who only use the Play Store to download games, this extra effort is significant in comparison.

kjempff
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kjempff

Is Fortnite not on Steam, AppStore or other distribution platforms? (Which all takes around 30%). No, seriously I am asking because I don’t know.

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Bryan Correll

It is not available on Steam. It is on the iOS appstore and on the stores for the various consoles. But in those cases they don’t have any choice. If you’re going to distribute to those devices you have to do it through their stores.

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Bryan Correll

Epic Games has decided it’s cool to roll the dice on your behalf and hope you follow their instructions.

So…..basically an admission that it won’t be a problem if you follow the freaking instructions. Screw your self-righteous ranting. The Android Central article made my hypocrisy detector explode.

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Bruno Brito

I don’t get people sometimes. Steam is predatory, Googleplay is not. Valve is a monopoly, but Google is ok. 30% cut is massive for what is mostly, you using their space as a billboard for your apps. Google isn’t shitproof, nor is Steam and they never were. Clones will always exist, and your cellphone isn’t immune to crap just because you get stuff on Googleplay.

This isn’t about security. They don’t give a damn about you. This is about Google losing 30% from Fortnite’s market, the biggest game on earth right now. Don’t defend this. Epic has the right to keep their money, since they’re at least producing something for that money, while Google wants 30% for space that Epic doesn’t need.

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traja

Yeah it’s crazy to see this labeled as the evil kind of capitalistic greed. This is the good kind of capitalism: Competition. If Fortnite can succeed without giving Google their 30% it will motivate others to do the same. That in turn causes pressure on Google to lower the cut, which then opens up more opportunity to compete with pricing, and that is good for the end users.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

Wait till Google releases Fuchsia and imitate Apple. Closed garden walls for everyone!

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agemyth 😩

What’s with all the blanket defenders of classic capitalist greed: profit > everything?

As a survival mechanism, yes big companies gotta make big money. Did these same people shrug their shoulders at EAs gamble box problem last year? I doubt it, but they are just trying to make some money too.

This doesn’t have to be a big problem like EA had to give some players reason for concern if this may affect them.

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Bryan Correll

This is a case of greed vs. greed between two companies though. And as big as Epic is, Google is a hell of a lot bigger. The ‘security issues’ are just PR. And from Google’s point of view this isn’t just about Fortnite. If Epic scores big snubbing Google Play then future high profile releases are more likely to go the same route.

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agemyth 😩

As long as it comes to their operating system, the mobile OS with the largest user base in the world, I don’t think Google is worried. 30% of the microtransactions for one game, even a trendy game like Fortnite, isn’t enough to make Google sweat. As others have mentioned, Amazon has a whole line of Android devices that are completely cut off from the Google Play Store ecosystem.

To become a threat to Google’s bottom line Fortnite would have to be the start of a massive market shift I don’t think we’ve seen in the mobile market since iPhone and Android were cemented as the two major platforms.

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Bryan Correll

I didn’t mean to imply that this was any real threat to Google. My point was that wherever that 30% ends up, it won’t be in the pocket of the end user. Is Epic showing corporate greed? Well, sure. But they don’t need Google Play to get their games out the way smaller studios with tiny marketing budgets do. So why shouldn’t they cut out the middleman?

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Bruno Brito

It’s not about making them sweat. Big companies have big agendas. Google losing 30% profit from the biggest online game right now is something they WILL discuss in their board meetings, and most of those board members will be asking “how the fuck did this happen?”

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Grave Knight

30? That’s a pretty huge cut considering a talent agent typically only gets 10% and they arguably do more than a virtual store.

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Schmidt.Capela

30% is the typical cut for all of the big virtual stores; you usually only find a better deal in tiny stores that don’t drive much of an audience towards your product.

It’s what they are paying Apple, BTW.

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Bruno Brito

It’s the same cut that Steam gets too, but companies hate Steam. I don’t know if this is good or bad. The “security measures” that they talk about seem like a load of BS.

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J

I don’t really blame them. 30% is massive.

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Alex Js.

Well, if they think this method will bring them more money – then good luck to them!

As for people talking about security: getting the app from Google Play store doesn’t guarantee the lack of built-in malware, Google’s own anti-malware scanner is in fact has a pretty poor detection rates (as any test from sites like AV-Test and AV-Comparatives can show). It’s so bad that there are still many apps on Google’s Play store which either contain malware or provide users with links to such malware, masquerading as “how to” guides for all major mobile games, including PUBG and others (for example, something like “how to earn best skins quickly” or “how to find best hiding spots on a map” or something similar). So if you worry about such malware – you should ALWAYS use third-party antimalware app, regardless of where you download all your apps from, especially on your children’s smartphones.

As for “protection against your kid abusing your credit card” – the best protection against that is just teaching your children to be more careful/restrained with spending money on anything or not provide them with the credit card number in the first place.

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thirtymil

Given the amount of absolute dross on both Steam and Google Play, I think these stores have a hard time justifying their 30% cut on anything other than having a de facto monopoly.

So anything that forces them to improve their service (such as seeing the money from big games pass them by) is good, I think. Destiny 2 was big enough to do it to Steam, Fortnite is big enough to do it to Google Play.