Fortnite is hands down the most popular game in the world right now. It’s been played by over 125 million people thanks to it’s enjoyable and rewarding gameplay. Even if you haven’t played Fortnite yourself, chances are you’ve at least heard of it.
It’s available on every major gaming platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch and even the iPhone. Notably, Android is currently the biggest omission from that list. The developer behind Fortnite, Epic Games, has stated that Fortnite will be coming to Android this summer but the exact release date is unknown.
However, a recent leak shows that Fortnite on Android won’t be available to download via Play Store. For those unaware, the Play Store is the app marketplace for Android. It’s the equivalent of the App Store found on iPhones. If you download an app on Android, 99% of the time it will be from the Play Store.
A Reddit user by the name of /u/thesbros uncovered these screenshots from Epic Games’ website. The images clearly state that Fortnite on Android is an app outside of the Play Store. It also states that you can install Fortnite through your browser. If genuine, this is a clear sign that Fortnite on Android will not be available on the Play Store. Instead, you’ll need to go to the Epic Games website and download Fortnite for Android from there.
Android, being the open operating system it is, does allow you to download apps from the web. Unlike on the iPhone, you’re not limited to a single location to download applications. To allow this, you’ll need to go into the settings of your Android Phone, go to the security section and check the box which says ‘unknown sources’. This allows you to download apps not found on the Google Play Store.
If this leak proves to be true, users will have to go through this process in order to play Fortnite on Android. Changing this setting isn’t generally recommended, as it’s designed to prevent users from inadvertently downloading harmful applications from the web. It can be turned back off after the download is complete, but users will need to do this manually.
Why would Epic Games do this to Fortnite on Android?
There’s only really one explanation for this and it involves in-app purchases. When you purchase items within a game or app, such as V-Bucks in Fortnite, the Store in which the game was downloaded takes a cut of the purchase. For example, for every in-app purchase made in the iOS version of Fortnite, Apple takes 30% of the money made from said purchase. Google also takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases, which Epic Games can avoid by not publishing Fortnite in the Play Store.
Other than increased profits, there is no other clear explanation as to why Epic Games would make this decision. Publishing Fortnite on the Google Play Store instead of the website would have certain benefits for players. These include automatic updates and the fact that the actual process of installing Fortnite would be much safer and more secure.
That being said, this is all based on a recent leak and nothing is confirmed yet. We’ll have to wait until Fortnite releases sometime this summer to know for sure.