Fortnite, one of the most popular games in the world right now, is coming to Android devices very soon, but players would not be able to download Fortnite APK from the Google Play Store.
Instead, Epic Games software development company has confirmed the Fortnite APK for Android will be available for download exclusively only through its official website, bypassing the Google Play Store.
Why Fortnite for Android Bypassing Google Play Store?
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney cites two main reasons for this decision.
First, offering Fortnite APK downloads directly from its official website will allow the company to "have a direct relationship" with its consumers.
Second, since Google takes a 30 percent cut of revenue each time a user makes an in-app purchase through its Play Store, the decision will allow the company to save millions. This should not be shocking as Fortnite on iOS made $15 million in just first three weeks.
Moreover, one should not forget, by covering Android, Epic Games is targeting the other 85 percent of the world's smartphone audience with the release of Fortnite for Android.
"When you search for Fortnite on iOS, you'll often get PUBG or Minecraft ads. Whoever bought that ad in front of us is the top result when searching for Fortnite," Sweeney said in an interview with GamesBeat.
"It's just a bad experience. Why not just make the game available directly to users, instead of having the store get between us and our customers and inject all kinds of cruft like that? It's a general criticism I have of the smartphone platforms right now."
Sweeney argues that profit-sharing, such as Microsoft or Nintendo's cut of Fortnite in-game purchases, is OK on gaming consoles "where there's enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers."
However, Sweeney says that Google's 30% cut is "disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service."
Fortnite for Android Downloads Could Put Users Security At Risk
However, it should be noted that offering Fortnite APK from a third-party website is risking Android users in terms of security by escaping the built-in protections provided by the Google Play Store.
Fortnite for Android has not been launched yet, but due to current popularity and craziness across the globe surrounding the video game, we have seen how a large number of Android users are falling for malicious or fake Fortnite APKs distributed by cybercriminals and scammers.
Though Play Store is also not entirely immune to malware, recommending a large number of users to install (via sideloading) a third-party app outside of the official app store would leave an opportunity open for hackers to spread malware.
The move will simply encourage users to manually enable "Install Apps from Unknown Sources" option in the settings menu or accept a variety of Android security prompts in order to install Fortnite game directly from the Epic Games website.
So, thousands of people out there searching, "how to install Fortnite on Android" or "how to download Fortnite APK for Android" on the Internet, could land themselves on unofficial websites, ending up installing malware.
To play Fortnite on Android, players first need to visit the Fortnite.com website to first download the Fortnite Launcher, which will then let them load the Fortnite Battle Royale onto their devices.
"But from a customer perspective, it sucks. Security experts, tech companies, and app developers all agree it's best practice to only download apps from trusted developers, and only from legitimate app stores," Selena Larson raised security concerns in a blog post.Right now, there is no concrete release date yet for Fortnite for Android, but speculations suggest the world's most famous battle royale game—with more than 125 million players at the current—will be launching as a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 exclusive for 30 days.
"By shirking these practices, Epic Games is normalizing behavior that can lead to kids' phones getting hacked."
"For instance, hackers could masquerade as legit Fortnite representatives or gamers and trick people into downloading malware. This method of phishing Android users to install bad apps and spyware has been used by state-backed adversaries and average bad actors alike."
Epic Games did not comment on the Fortnite's partnership with Samsung, but said the game is going to work on high-end Android devices—that's 300 million or so out of the 2.5 billion Android devices in the world.