Epic Games' strategy for Fortnite on Android is stupid, greedy, and dangerous

News of the massively popular and mostly free game Fortnite coming to Android has been causing buzz for months now. Gamers of every age group have flocked to Fortnite and continue to enjoy playing and streaming all day every day. But news that Epic Games is choosing to distribute Fortnite for Android on its own instead of using the Google Play Store is just about the worst thing the company can do for its users.

Plain and simple, distributing this game outside of the Google Play Store is dangerous. And knowing Epic Games is only doing this so it can make a few extra pennies from each user is even worse.

Google Play keeps everyone safe

Remember when Pokemon Go first came out, and because it wasn't available to everyone all at once people started uploading modified versions of the app to third-party stores with malicious code onboard to steal your data or turn your phone into a bitcoin mining machine for someone else? That kind of thing only happens when an app is distributed outside of the Google Play Store, because Google puts tremendous resources behind making sure the apps in the store are safe for you to use. Fortnite is going to be available through the Epic Games website, but there's very little to stop someone from putting out ads for downloading Fortnite for Android on the day this game is available and redirecting those users to a version of the game with similarly malicious code.

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

The Google Play Store also offers financial protection for parents who let their kid play a game with the credit card loaded. Stories of App Stores charging parents thousands of dollars because the kid wasn't paying attention rarely end in the parent needing to pay those huge fines because the mistake is reversed and Google handles this process. Epic Games is now the only company involved in this process, because purchases made in Fortnite on Android won't go through the Google Play Store. If Epic decides you have to pay for the things your kids did by mistake, there's no appeal process in place anymore.

Perhaps most important is the way you install apps outside the Google Play Store. In order to side-load an app on any Android phone not running the newest version you need to turn off a safety lock that allows these installations to happen. If you don't re-enable this feature back off after Fortnite is installed, anything can be installed in the background without your permission. But every time an update for Fortnite needs to be installed, you will need to toggle this feature again. This isn't the case if your phone is running Android 8.0 or newer, but at last count 88% of all Android phones were running a version older than 8.0.

In the past, this exact same loophole has lead to data leaks and huge problems with data privacy. 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.

There is no good reason to behave this way

The only reasons provided for this terrible decision by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney are financial. Sweeney says Epic wants to use its own installer like it does on the PC, and wants to bypass the 30% cut Google takes on all Play Store transactions. It's worth pointing out this 30% tax is identical to the one Apple places in its Play Store, but Apple doesn't let users sideload apps — an option Epic has here with Android.

Even if you do all of the right things every time you are still at a greater risk when playing Fortnite on Android than on any other platform.

It's also likely Epic Games knows the largest audience for Fortnite users are in places with a less-friendly Google Play Services relationship. China doesn't allow Google Mobile Services through its Great Firewall, and the EU is currently battling with Google on whether the Play Store should be a part of Android phones sold there. This combined audience is considerably larger than the people who would play in the U.S. and elsewhere, plus distributing a single version of Fortnite is easier than maintaining multiple versions to distribute in different stores.

So, basically, screw the users. This way is easier and makes us more money.

Unfortunately, there's very little anyone can do about this. You can choose to not give Epic a credit card number when you do play. You can (and should anyway) enable Two-Factor Authentication on your Epic Games account, and try to remember to keep your phone unable to install apps from unknown sources every time an update comes in. But ultimately, even if you do all of the right things every time you are still at a greater risk when playing Fortnite on Android than on any other platform. Epic knows this, and they're doing it anyway. And that sucks.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • Fortnite on PC has it's own installer, which you get when you go to their website to install. Are Android users that want to play Fortnite significantly dumber than those on PC (Don't answer that :). Is there a reason that an informed customer can't have more than one 'store' on their phone, as they currently do on their PC's? Do we need to have a Google monopoly on all sales on the platform? The same rules should apply to this download as to any other. Only download from places you trust. That doesn't mean there should only be one place.
  • I completely agree.
  • What Epic has done is opened up a user's device to sideloading, which can allow bad things like malware and other stuff. Epic could have easily controlled device and user licenses from Epics servers, with the app still on Google's servers. Also Google doesn't force any developers to use them for any app monitization. That is what Apple does, but NOT Google. Staying away from this game is the smart thing to do.
  • Isn't that the beauty of Android? That it treats it's users as adults? Not children that need their hand taken to cross a road?
    And are you sure about that monetization part? I'm pretty sure Google wouldn't let users buy stuff from an app they are publishing without they getting a cut.
  • Nope: https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... "Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment. "
  • Yes they do force devs to use Google's app monetization when uploading to the Play Store like Apple does. Where did you read otherwise
  • I agree that people who understand the risks will be fine, but a lot of people don't understand the risks and don't take the time to inform themselves. It's more about being naive than being dumb, and children (a significant target audience for Fortnite) are often naive. So are the many adults who lack impulse control. The Play Store obviously isn't infallible, since Google is constantly having to scan and remove bad apps. But by encouraging naive people to change their security settings and allow unknown sources, Epic is increasing the risk of infection without taking any responsibility for it (as far as I'm aware). There are really no downsides to this for Epic, because if a naive person's phone gets hacked they're highly likely to blame Android for being insecure (without realizing that they installed a malicious app). And it's totally fair that Epic wants to maximize their revenue through perfectly legal means, in the same way that it's fair for Google to charge 30% on IAPs. They're both for-profit companies. If you put aside the informed people, the question is: "do we need to protect naive people from themselves?" I'm assuming that your answer is "no", and I definitely appreciate aspects of that argument. But the way the world is right now, I can see why others would answer "yes". After all, many lawsuits revolve around the idea that a company has shirked responsibility to its customers. It wouldn't be shocking if someone downloaded a malicious version of Fortnite, got hacked, and then filed a lawsuit claiming that Google shouldn't have enabled them to do so in the first place. It's not a reasonable lawsuit, but we unfortunately aren't living in the most reasonable of times.
  • Sorry too long
  • Agreed
  • Haha. I thought so too after I posted it.
  • Agreed. Long but hey, if you're going to write something you may as well be concise. 30% if not the most encouraging "feature" of Google's agreement. As much as I would like to think Google is my friend, Google is a massive profit driven corporation. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as inevitably there will be many malicious downloads through rogue banners on the many "free" games and apps that are already IN the google play store. It's open season.
  • 'Not understanding the risks' is on the user, not on Epic. If you don't understand the risks of being online, and who is reputable and who isn't, you shouldn't be online. If the issue is children, then the parents shouldn't allow them to download apps without their permission. It's not the kids' phone. It's the parents. Parents complaining about their own hands-off mentality, where big brother Google handles everything for them just drives me nuts.
  • I expect you object to that awful government putting traffic lights on the road because drivers should understand all the risks at junctions and act accordingly.
    Modern life is complicated, often too much so, and the general public cannot be expected to understand the implications of sideloading and the like. It's why the doctrine of caveat emptor has been replaced by things like product safety legislation and the FDA.
    Suppose a parent who is an electrical engineer told you that houses shouldn't require wiring checks, it's up to parents to learn the risks of electricity and do their own safety checks and wiring and make sure children don't touch any bare wires. Would you consider that reasonable? But that's your attitude in mirror image.
  • Isn't this just reality? If somebody is too naive/stupid to understand the risks of going outside then they shouldn't go outside.
    Just like on PC, you can download whatever you want. Did you learn the hard way that you shouldn't download from shady sites? Well, at least you had the opportunity to learn.
    And parents HAVE to be responsible for their children. It ain't Google's or Epic's job to make sure your kid doesn't buy something on "accident".
  • Except both Microsoft & Google have gone out of their way to make it harder for you to download from shady sites...
  • A wise man learns from other people's mistakes. An unwise man learns the hard way. If you want to minimize risk, only buy apps via the Play store and never change your security settings (or go Apple). Competition is good. Monopolies are bad.
  • Exactly. Good points
  • This has nothing to do with money or piracy. Epic is using that as an excuse. Especially when Epic could easily control licensed users from their servers, as well as monitize, and allow IAP from their own servers. Google doesn't FORCE it's developers to use them to monitize your apps. Apple is the one that FORCES developers to use them for any monitization.
  • Here's from another poster:
    Nope: https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... "Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment. "
  • 100% correct. It really boils down to a lot of humans being stupid. Just plain stupid.
  • I believe the average Android user is equally as dumb as the average PC user who computer I'm always removing viruses, spyware and all sorts of other crap from. ;-)
  • You're the only one in the comments section with any brains
  • Emm.. read the article if you did not the first time DUMBASS
  • No one should touch this pile of crap. They want to treat Android differently, then to hell with them. Pubg mobile is a far better product anyhow.
  • Sorry to burst you'r bubble but pubg mobile is horible right now
  • I'm going to play it just because they found a way to make MORE PROFIT.
  • So much hate for capitalism! Good for Epic Games! 30% is a steep cost to pay for the Play Store. Choice is a thing people. If you don't like their decision to bypass the Play Store, don't play!
  • Are you feeling okay? Because Apple makes 30% from Epic. But Google doesn't FORCE it's developers to make money through them. That is something that Apple does. Epic could have easily used their own servers to monitize Fortnite, and control valid licenses for all Android users and their devices. What Epic has done here is FORCING Android users to enable sideloading, which opens up a user's device to bad things like malware and more crap. My suggestion is to stay away from this POS.
  • Only if you download it yourself
  • Here's from another user @shoes
    Nope: https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... "Developers offering products within a game downloaded on Google Play or providing access to game content must use Google Play In-app Billing as the method of payment. "
  • Epic is not FORCING people to play their game thus not forcing side loading. If you want to play and open up your device you allow side loading, install it and the turn it back off the same way you turned it on. Quite easy.
  • "And knowing Epic Games is only doing this so it can make a few extra pennies from each user is even worse." Are they really making money from users, or keeping more of the money since they don't have to pay google's 30% vig?
  • They are keeping more. I'd also be in favor of Steam coming to Android in a real way, providing a better gaming store than Google is offering, with more competitive rates for developers to get in.
  • Google is just as greedy as Epic is. I mean, what company isn't? Epic is trying to get around this by doing their own thing, and I don't see that as a problem. If people are moronic enough and somehow find a way to blow up their phone by installing it from a distrustful source, that is on them. Again, companies are not responsible for keeping people from making bad and stupid choices.
  • I don't have a problem with either company trying to maximize their profits. However, the notion that companies aren't responsible for the dumb things their customers do (which I personally agree with) isn't supported by the many class-action lawsuits that get filed these days.
  • And a good reason why our legal system is a hot mess.
  • I dont play fortnite. But this is no different than downloading software on a PC for the last few decades. On PC it's been the long standing norm, and even preferred (PC users dont want to be locked to a single store for apps etc). But same development on Android is dangerous? I see your points and even agree with it. But if a user is not savvy enough to only download from safe sources, then they need to rethink having that powerful computer in their pocket.
  • I don't think this is a case about non-savvy users. This is (primarily) a kids game and my 11yo would not know (and not expected to at his age) what a safe source would or would not be. And it's for those reasons, mentioned here in this well written article, that I let my kids install apps only from app stores.
  • Install it for him then. It's that simple.
  • I'm with you sushiguy.
  • I'm with BanditoTR, just install the game for your kid like a responsible parent should.
  • The game is primarily for 15-30 year olds actually. If that demographic isn't smart enough to download an app then life must be so tough on them. How do they work a regular PC or Mac?
    And for children, how about parents do some parenting, make sure their kids are using their devices correctly, and download the game for them?
  • First, if a child has access to such technology at his age, you as a parents should either limit what he can do on said device through a parental control setting, or teach him how to safely browse the internet! If you're really that worried about your child installing malware on your phone and for some reason can't be bothered to teach them how to use the internet, just install an antivirus on it, like Malwarebytes! If your child still infects your phone with the warnings, that's on you as a parent...
  • So if the kid screws up it's the parents fault. OK, terrific.
  • Eh, whatever. If you're going to avoid a platform I would avoid the Playstation. No cross play on that platform yet AC doesn't mention a thing about that. Getting the game from the source is just as safe as downloading it through Google. I don't care if Epic wants to save millions of dollars by removing the middle man. Android has enough built in tools to keep you reasonably safe if you make sure to get the game from the source. The newest versions of Android only open the system up to sideloading for the specific app you're installing in that instance so it isn't even like you have to open your entire device to sideloaded apps anymore.
  • Thats not true, only Samsung devices do that.
    Even on Android P you have to allow Chrome as a source to install apps from. That opens the door for anything.
  • Samsung doesn't do it that way anymore either. At least as of Android 8.0. Now you can turn on/off app install permissions by the app that is able to initiate the install of unknown apps, ie Chrome, Samsung Internet, Files, etc... But it is a persistent setting. No more "this time only" option.
  • right up until you close the door by turning off the option
  • if you're so bothered by that, you shouldn't use netflix on your phone as well. Although it's available in play store, netflix doesn't use google's IAP billing service (that's why you have to their website and type in your credit card details) in favour of their on, so your credit card is not "protected" by google since the billing is made directly by netflix to avoid the same 30% that epic is saying
  • That has literally nothing to do with the complaint of the article. Does Netflix make you disable security functions on your phone and do an end run around the Play Store to install it? No? Then it's not the complaint.
  • Good point. Then why doesn't Epic do the same ?
  • And this is Epics fault for not providing enough alternatives... Personally I won't install apps from outside of Google Play. Originally I had thought apps on Google Play had to adhere to a strict development guidelines. Now if those apps had to use Google to protect credit card information as the main requisite. That's different. Totally different. And not worth the 30% Commission. Bad or elicit apps have certainly made it through Google Play - restrictions - and be available to the end users. Interesting...
  • Another thing would be to point out that Epic - possibly - will be having to pay another company for processing credit card information. So it's not a 30% gain in income. Most independent Developers contract out to handle or process credit card transactions. Those companies are then responsible for securing those credit card users information - not the developer. Most Developers don't have time to secure - and keep secure - credit card transactions and information.
  • Good point buddy!
  • I dont know about saving pennies.... more like dollars. 30% google cut then they are based in North Carolina so fed and state taxes that they will have to pay... Yea if I could I would do the exact same thing. And I guess like the other poster above me. I guess andriod users are too dumb to install from a trusted source.
  • 30% is just like selling it in any other store. Physical stores needen money too.
  • But if you can sell it yourself and save the 30%, why not do it?
  • But those physical stores carry costs that are non-existent in a digital store like Google Play.
  • Google Play revenues are a large part of how Google pays for Android development, which they give away for free. Also Play Store might have large margins, but there are definitely costs involved with hosting, distributing, and moderating the Play Store.
  • But they also carry costs that are existent in the Play Store. Literally *every* reason listed above as to why AC thinks this is a bad idea is due to the value provided by the Play Store. Curation. Distribution. If you think the Play Store offers nothing, then no one would have been willing to pay the 30% fee in the first place. That's so blindingly not the case though.
  • I agree with the points the article makes but this Epic's decision and they are allowed to make it. I wonder if they will actually make less money though even without Google getting 30% because they won't have nearly as much exposure and downloads as they would if they published in the Play Store.
  • I have installed from unsafe sources all the tume. It's risk that I am willing to take and I only take it because some apps that I purchased aren't compatible with certain devices. 2K not putting Xcom games on Nvidia Shield tablet is absurd.
  • The key thing many commenters seem to be missing is that this isn't like PC, PC doesn't require you to disable security to install the game.
  • Neither does this. Literally the only thing this does is ALLOW you to install apps from outside of the Play store. Unlike what the author claims, this does not allow 'anything [to] be installed in the background without your permission'. You still have to manually approve every APK installed on your device. You just don't get the warning from the Android System telling you you're not allowed to do that. The facts have been twisted in this article in order to cause drama surrounding a popular game for the sake of clicks.
  • You are 100 percent correct. In fact , I have never gone back and turned it back on, ever. Sounds like Russell has a ax to grind.
  • Like you I guess I live life on the Wild Side. It's been off for years.on my phones
  • Couple of rebels. Lol Am I allowed to say rebel?
  • I think that's taboo now... I'd rather be called a rebel then a hipster..
    And I'm not too fond of being called a Maverick either...
  • Maybe the axe to grind from Russell has Tim Sweeney donated to any Republican causes lol
  • Because PC (mainly Windows) treat you like a grown up. It assumes you know what are you doing. If you don't you end up with a Windows not being able to boot.
  • If Fortnite wasn't the big success story as it has become, Epic would not be bypassing the Play Store. I remember playing Infinity Blade on the iPhone and never really saw or read about Epic having a problem with Apple's app store at the time. (Infinity Blade is a Epic game) I also don't recall it being a global phenomenon everyone had to try at least once.
  • You must use the App Store. No choice whatsoever
  • Infinity Blade was an iOS exclusive. It was part of the deal Apple made with Epic. The whole point of the game's existence was being only available for iOS.
  • For those of us who don't use Google Play services or don't like to be tied down to Google, this is good, IMO. Fortnite on PC always existed outside the Steam platform, and because they can do the same to Android, they will definitely take advantage of that. If this method of theirs succeed, then we might just see Steam competing against Google in the mobile gaming market by offering their own gaming store and services that won't rely on Google Play services, Epic might plan on putting more mobile games outside of Google Play, EA might make an Origin store where they'll put all of their games, and Samsung might resurrect their own app store (and detach from Google little by little). Man I hope this succeed. I'd love to see more competition against Google Play.
  • Competition is good, but not at the expense of security. If there was a cleaner way to install applications from trusted sources - such as a menu setting within Android to add alternative markets - I would be OK with that. That way you are only installing approved applications from that app store in addition to Google Play. You shouldn't have to, on a per app basis, enable unknown sources. Having that convenience comes at a price for developers, though. They become responsible for maintaining the secured channel and protecting users from malware. If they are willing to do that and Android is modified to allow this setting, then competition for Google Play will be a good thing. But if it's always going to be a matter of manually installing APK files you have to download from websites - which can be hacked - I'm going to pass.
  • 30%? Holy cow. No wonder they want to circumvent the playstore. That's a ton of money.
  • That covers the overhead for the Play Store in addition to some pure profit for Google. I don't see anything wrong with 30% - Google is providing developers with a secure channel to distribute applications which are curated to be installed only on devices that are approved for use. 30% of what Epic is making off of Fortnite is huge, but I'm sure their mobile apps will only account for a sliver of their overall sales. PC and consoles will still be the preferred avenues. Google's rationale for taking 30% is valid. Epic not wanting to give up 30% is understandable. Asking users to enable unknown sources is risky because manually installing APK files doesn't guarantee the software is free of malware or that there is 100% compatibility with the target device.
  • Dumb idea, indeed! Scammers and malicious hackers are salivating right about now. It's going to backfire spectacularly in their face, given that the only Android store that does any kind of sophisticated security analysis is Google's Play Store.
  • Yup, those same scammers and hackers must be having a field day with all the fake Fortnite installers there are for PC and Mac. ....oh wait.
  • Wait until Epic's server craps out because of all the people that want to download the game. Then, people start going to unofficial sites to download the game. You think it won't happen - we all hope it won't happen - but inevitably it will. Those users will unknowingly install malware on their devices. Ultimately it will be the end user's fault for enabling unknown sources and downloading and installing from a site outside of Epic's. There needs to be a secure alternative to the Play Store. One where you aren't just enabling unknown sources every time you want to sideload an APK but instead download apps from a special marketplace where the apps are (1) guaranteed to be malware free and (2) work on your device. Sounds a lot like Google's Play Store. But hey, at least it isn't Google. Right? Then comes the realization that in order to maintain such a store, someone has to foot the bill. A percentage of sales from transactions will likely be taken to help sustain the marketplace. That may eventually include in-app purchases. It might start off small - 5%, 10% - but it could go as high as say, 30%. With the Play Store, Google provides a service. Someone has to foot the bill. With individual APK files the onus isn't on the developer - oh no, I'm sure their lawyers thought of that - but on the end user themselves. These phones are small PC's, right? You want to treat them like PC's? Fine, they are PC's. Install whatever you want on your phone. You know the risks. In its current state, it just isn't sustainable on Android. A lot of changes need to happen before I would feel comfortable just installing APK files from the web onto my phone.
  • Uhh... those scammers and hackers are having a field day with PC and Mac through plenty of other means already. The real-life example they provided is... ...well... a real-life example of what can happen. Pokemon Go had these kinds of issues due to limited release and people installing from elsewhere. I can guarantee you there will be malicious copies of Fortnite for Android. That's not a question. The only question is how widespread and what kind of impact it will have.
  • So the author is advocating for a business owner to hand over 30% of revenue for safety?
  • Forget Android being the platform of choice! :P. The writer just sounds like the typical millennial crybaby needed bubble wrap to walk around outside.
  • Or at least come up with a more secure option than just manually installing an APK after enabling unknown sources. You think that those against Epic believe users to be stupid - it's quite the contrary. This is going to open the floodgates for people who all of a sudden realize you can get APK files online and install them to your phone outside of the Play Store. Believe it or not, there are users who would be surprised to find out that some of their favorite apps can be had outside of the Play Store. Then you have people going over the internet to find more APK files you can download, which will eventually lead some - not all - to installing potentially unsafe and rouge apps from questionable websites.
  • Meh, it's really not a big deal. Anyone with half a brain can figure out how to install it. The game has more than enough exposure that people will know exactly what to do to get it.
  • I can see Russell removing this article soon from how stupid it is. This is thee best decision for Epic to make.
  • The simplest thing Google can do here is to tie the lte and wifi to the playstore. If any app is installed outside of the playstore, like side loaded then it won't get access to the internet. I am sure it can be done via some sort of playstore certificate as validation. Google has a duty to keep it's ecosystem safe. Allowing side loaded app to access the radio is a huge security hole.
  • You are joking , right? Might as well do it the Apple way.
  • Google did that I would drop it like a bad habit.. I don't want to play in a Walled Garden... I would go play in apples wall Garden. At least their Walled Garden looks prettier.
  • There are many ways to secure an application. On the Windows side I had embedded a security app within my app that checked for identical serial numbers across networks, virtual machines etc. It called home for validation. The developer had the right to disable any app at any time. The problem there was it had to have internet access. All of these security measures added more complexity across a broad spectrum of various devices and local or International default settings. I think Google should - and does - provide multiple security measures to where the end-user can decide how secure they want to run their phone. It's up to the user to make an informative and knowledgeable choice. You can't blame Google or or hold Google accountable for all of your actions.
  • Side load access that the USER has to grant.
  • What the f***? Why the hell would I want that? That is something that not even Apple would do.
  • Hahahaha good one. If they did that I'd be dropping Android like it's hot.
  • Fortinite is stupid!
  • "If you don't re-enable this feature back off after Fortnite is installed, anything can be installed in the background without your permission." Well that's straight up false. Nice fear mongering
  • Yeah, not sure what he's smoking, you have to allow apps to be sideloaded via prompt, unless you have an application running as a device admin doing it for you.
  • Russell, I find your framing of Epic as "greedy" to be very disingenuous. This is a company making a business decision, yes, obviously one you very strongly disagree with, but it's their product and they can choose to do what they want with it. Google's 30% cut is pretty steep looking at it from Epic's perspective. Is Google greedy also? All this never ending talk of seeking more profit as "greedy" proves what a lack of understanding there is of basic economics in the public space. Is it "greedy" that Epic games has likely invested millions of dollars in development costs, building space, technology, human power, etc to create one of the most popular games on the planet for the joy of millions of people? If there is no profit to be made, there won't be a game created in the first place! This is the beauty of free markets and capitalism. If you don't like their business model, don't play! Choice is a wonderful thing and there needs to be more of it!
  • Like all the other ....God this is going to sound awful when I say this left-leaning tech elite. They seem to hate capitalism... and write fearmongering articles.
  • O_o. Way to make everything about right and left leaning. Twice in one article, nice! Snowflakes be snowflakes.
  • It's no secret and he will tell you on a lot of social issues he leans left And honestly that's snowflake memes pretty much lost all meaning nowadays but you do you
  • Why the lefties trying to highjack snowflake? Righties started it. Haha
  • They did start it but then the righties go and show how they're the actual snowflakes.
  • Ok I am curious how am I being a snowflake, or are you just throwing buzz words around wanting to be all hip? What's your definition of a "snowflake"
  • Somebody who voted for Hillary... - Lord I apologise -
  • Did not vote for neither of them. I still voted tho.
  • Every side uses it to denote someone who seems to think some article is targeted towards attacking their belief when it reality it's not. Like this article... I saw no reason to bring left or right into it, yet someone felt slighted enough by it.
  • Uhhh... how does this hate capitalism? It promotes the ultimate goal of pure capitalism... monopoly...
  • I don't agree with Epic Games decision to bypass the Play Store for Fortnite, but Epic Games are within their legal right to do so everyone if it's blatantly for pure greed.
  • Well played, Android Central. You use the oldest trick in the book, using the word "Danger". Well played.
    Let me tell you something, I've been rooting my phones for 5 years and I am still alive.
    I've played Fortnite for about 15 minutes total on PC, but this time I will download it and pay for it, just to support their act of defiance. I do not like Monopolies.
  • Don't you know. It's all about the children. Think of the children, for heaven's sake.
  • PUBG works great as a mobile adaptation of a PC/platform game and it is available through the Google Play store.
    Playing Fortnight is like drinking Bud Light when you have been used to throwing back some craft IPAs (PUBG). Fortnight is for kids. PUBG is for big kids.
  • PUBG is literally copy and paste programming wise as Rules of Survival on mobile and not really anything like its main platform counterpart, meanwhile Fortnite mobile is cross platform with your main platforms because it’s literally the same. Fortnite is much more impressive in the mobile realm and not really comparable to the lazy effort that is PUBG mobile.
  • This will not hinder the game at all, it is popular enough that news will spread and people will download it. I think this is hilarious, because even though I will always choose Google over Apple, it's nice to see them get screwed over for once, seeing how they have killed a number of things I liked.
  • You guys I have Fortnite already! DM me for the apk....
  • It's funny that Touch Arcade has seen this event with more clarity than Android central: https://toucharcade.com/2018/08/03/how-to-download-fortnite-on-android/
  • I personally find Epic Games' actions as of late deplorable at best. They refuse to work with Google, end of list. There are some killer titles they own, such as the Infinity Blade Series, that they could open up to a whole demographic of millions of Android users, and guess what? They refuse to do it. They have a massive h*** o* for Apple, and refuse to work with Google. Apple has had ZERO innovation in the past few years, and Android has grown exponentially to be the most used mobile OS in the world. So...make more money? Hello? Is Epic Games that close to bankruptcy that they cannot afford a few pennies on the dollar? God knows what Apple charges them... Fools...
  • 30% commission is not pennies on the dollar. For every $100 made, that's $30 going to Google just because they said so. For comparison, Lyft only asks for 20% commission. And Epic slashed the royalties for using Unreal Engine to just 12%. 30% feels like legalized extortion in comparison...
  • Apple also gets 30% but Epic is alright with THAT fee... biased anyone?
  • There is no alternative to the iTunes Store, so there's no other choice if you want your apps available for Apple.
  • If they could bypass Apple's fee they would. The whole point of Android is you have more freedom than the Apple ecosystem.
  • If only Google would stop demanding 30% commission for literally every single in app purchase coursed through the Google Play Store. That's a significant amount. Lyft only asks for a 20% commission. And Epic Games has recently slashed the royalty fees for everyone using the Unreal Engine to just 12%! 12! 30% commission feels like extortion in comparison...
  • Apple does it too. Not sure what Microsoft charges, but if its lower, its probably because they can't afford to push any developers away from their store. Does anyone know what Amazon charges? It really depends on how you define the services they're receiving. There are plenty of apps that have profited *tremendously* due to the Play Store. The benefits can greatly outweigh the costs. So, it's really a crapshoot on how well the game will do without the backing of the Play Store. Honestly, what I see happening is they will *eventually* release to the Play Store when the hysteria about the game dies down. No game stays on top forever.
  • What do you mean brother? They only made 300 million last month so they clearly can't afford operating costs without this move.
  • I download programs on PC all the time without going to the "app store" to do it. Just because you load an APK outside the store, and the industry has termed it "sideloading" doesn't make it dangerous. The fact that people click on clickbait and other random stupid crap is what's troublesome... Users shouldn't be so stupid and shouldn't be babied. You download something that hurts your device? Pay to fix it, lesson learned. If you always have your hand held with everything you do, you're having no favors done to you... It's making you a dumber consumer and user.
  • I don't blame them!
    30% is ridiculous
  • Russell Holly
    why don't you move to Russia, or...many..... North Korea ! they tend to agree with your capitalism thoughts
    You seem extremely butthurt and politically motivated
  • This is nonsense fearmongering. And 30% is PLENTY of reason for them to make this decision. Google taking one bloody third of their sales is ludicrous. It might make sense for smaller devs to get exposure in the play store, but Epic certainly doesn't need the help.
  • This is America!
    get over it ✌️
  • lol and Apple users are already done with this after having it for Months already.
    There will be SO many mirror virus, malware and Credit card thieving sites "hosting" the "download"
    It will be funny when all those people saying they are "smart enough" to DL (sideload) the game and run it without issues wake up the next day with empty bank accounts.
  • Literally made an account just to say how stupid this article is. No one is going to be downloading apps with malicious code, I’ve never even heard of that happening EVER. Acting like Epic doesn’t have experience running their own launcher and managing their own in game store and the issues that revolve around that is stupid. Epic Games was around long before Fortnite. This article is literally some random android user butthurt about something that could help push the platform to something better, Android is not iOS because it’s more modular. People being able to distribute their own apps is exactly why I love the platform.
  • They literally gave a real world example with Pokemon Go. You only had to read the article to then have, "heard of that happening EVER."
  • The comment section with all the r/iamverysmart people and Epic d**k suckers makes me want to take a gun a blow my brain out. Great article that covers all the right points. I wouldn't have even thought it was this bad without this article and now I'm definitely not getting near Fortnite or even any of the games Epic releases.
  • LOL..I was thinking the same thing, bunch of stooges in here. The only stupid people here are the ones wasting their time on a game LOL.
  • +1
  • This just shows you what Android Central thinks of it's readers.
  • It's not what AC thinks of its readers. It's what AC thinks of the average mobile phone user. Which honestly, they have a point about. This article isn't to warn you. It's saying how its dangerous for the average user. AC readers likely aren't the average user.
  • Android central is a great website which provides all the information with their articles. I follow Android Central. They write blogs on tech also through which they can provide the solutions.
  • I don't have a problem with downloading apps like ShowBox outside the Play Store but I certainly more reluctant to download games from outside the Play Store, personally I think what Epic Games is doing with Fortnite for Android is extremely disappointing, they're not going to get nearly as much downloads or make as much money going this route. This could set a dangerous precedent, if Epic Games decision pays off.
  • I honestly doubt that... fortnite is huge
    And you are talking in the millions that they will save. *not pennies* fortnite on Apple made about 14 million. And my guess they will have probably about or little bit more Android users download it since Android is a tad more popular than Apple in the US. They're saving about five million dollars if they do that. Granted there be some Android users that want to play it that don't know how to sideload maybe
    But I believe the five million dollars makes up for that they're saving. And honestly these numbers are being conservative. And download the game for android you go to epics website fear-mongering by Russell is a little extreme.
  • time for reality.... "In the first 90 days of being released on iOS in March, Fortnite has made in $100 million in revenue. The incredibly popular video game earned $25 million in the first month of being on Apple’s operating system and $50 million after 45 days according to mobile and app intelligence company Sensor Tower. Fortnite earned 335% more than Knives Out, its closest battle royale rival on iOS." https://brobible.com/culture/article/fortnite-made-million-ios-90-days/
  • Oops Lol was looking at a outdated stuff when they 1st launched. So they geymt about the same numbers from Android you're looking at 30 to 40 million dollar saved
  • But that's with the benefit of distribution through the App Store. It'll be interesting to compare to a release that doesn't have the Play Store as a foundation.
  • So basically they will pay Apple but not Google. Just another company that loves Apple for no reason.
  • They have no choice you cant sideload apps In apple, like you can google and apple in the us is about 40%ish to andriods 60%ish. So they have to play by apples rules to get in the apples app store.
  • They should just offer it both directly and through Google Play and charge a 30% premium for everything through Play. You want perceived safety and support, you pay for it.
  • If I recall, you can't charge a premium if you sell the same service elsewhere. But that may have changed. I'm not sure.
  • I wonder if this will allow them to get around parental controls for IAPs since this game only makes money from kids buying cool looking outfits/gear.
  • Bad article is bad. You have to sideload the Amazon app store too...but this site is constantly glorifying Amazon. Enable sideloading, sideload Fortnite, disable sideloading. If I made $1 billion off a game, I sure as hell wouldn't want to pay $300 million to Google.
  • Well they will probably come through Amazon Appstore for reasons
    Amazon has lot of money to pay them.
    Amazon appstore needs promotion
    Fortnite is very popular, good for having their app installed
    Amazon might be able to shove their ads into fortnite
  • Honestly I hope this leads to more developers hosting there own downloads. Phones should be as opens as pcs. You should not be locked into one source for your apps. If you were able to get the game on pc then you can download the game safely to a phone. People are just so used to having their hand held on phones that this seems scary. You pushing the issue like this so aggressively makes me wonder why you wan epic to hand over such a large amount of potential revenue to Google. The play store is great for new devs and finding apps that are less popular but epic can handle the download bandwidth and is a trusted dev they don't really get what they pay for with Google's 30% cut.
  • In a day and age when phones are even serving as secure wallets, are always on, track your location to the meter, and are always connected to the internet everywhere you go... they sure do need to be locked down more tightly than PCs. Half of the mobile services we have now wouldn't exist if phones were still the free-for-all they were back in 2010.
  • This is just wrong. Are you telling me a user cannot secure their own device and the Company X have to hold his hand by closing the environment and charging the user extra for it?
  • Asking for the "good ol' days" of PCs which still greatly outnumber mobile devices in regards to malware and other various dangers... .... yeah, that's not a good idea. *ESPECIALLY* if you consider how important handhelds are.
  • I'd like to address a lot of the arguments I'm seeing on here that supports Android. Now I understand that this is an opinion article but I cannot help but chuckle when I see someone bashing epic for not siding with android on androidcentral. I have been a fan of android/google for a long time. But I don't think they deserve 30% of the profits from Fortnite. Sure they maintain the software and made the OS, but really if they didn't make it someone else would have made an alternative that would rise above it, 30% really? Now addressing the first argument people are making about security, by default unknown sources cannot install apps without changing a setting, but what a lot of people are forgetting is that by default when you install an unknown app automatically selected for you is "allow this one time only". So these "naive" children that people are mentioning definitely are not capable enough to uncheck that button right? Fortnite's decision here is not greedy at all, the internet doesn't tax people for putting a game up on their own website. They made the game they deserve the profits, imagine if someone took 30% from the PC platform, huge profit loss. And that's the great thing about android is it allows sideloading in the first place.
  • Your argument falls flat when Fortnite is on iOS which Apple takes a 30% cut from the App Store and don't give me that Epic didn't have a choice" bullsh*t because they had a choice not to put Fortnite on iOS in the first place.
  • 1. It takes an act of Congress to sideload apps on Apple. It's a pain in the ass. 2. So yeah if they wanted the revenue which they would be idiots not to. As they made from the article I just saw 100 million. 3. So basically you really have to go through the Apple Play Store the vast majority of Apple users there's no way on God's green earth that they're going to be able to side load an app on a iphone. 4. Now contrast that with Android phones which is extremely easy to sideload apps. And if you have the bandwidth and the capability of your website to give APK to Android users and skip the 30%. You would be an idiot not to.... I'm guessing that it's probably going to put up tclose to or even more of the revenue numbers that it did in IOS.
    That means they get to keep 30 to 40 million dollars....
  • Epic have no choice on iOS but on Android they do... Two wrongs don't make a right, a 30% royalty is abusive... Seems a strange coincidence that both Apple and Google charge the same percentage royalty... Almost seems like price fixing to me...
  • So your idea would be rather than pay Apple 30% they should avoid releasing it on iOS and make no money at all from iphone users. Wouldn't go into business with you.
  • Why would they not put Fortnite on iOS just because Apple takes a cut? 70% is still something. And why are you so made that Epic didn't put their game in the Play Store You have the option of not playing it.
  • Only an idiot (see: Liberal) would label Epic greedy for simply wanting to keep all of the money it worked for. Why hand over 30% of THEIR money if they don't have to?
  • Google is greedy for forcing everyone to use Google services on the most basic apps...they destroyed BB10 os that was more fluid, more secure than android to use Google services on apps.
  • You're talking sh*t Google Play Services is the safest way. And Blackberry don't hold a candle to Google, you're just another Google hater, you don't like Google and it's services, don't use Android because Google owns Android.
  • Put a cork in it Beno and your pos pixel 2xl, by the way, is midrange garbage.
  • Don't mind beno he's the resident Google zealot
  • Aside from users who doesn't dwell on AC's comment section too much, I don't think there's anyone who holds values on his posts. I still find it amazing how a Google fanboy can rub other Google fans the wrong way.
  • So, the guy supporting monopolies is a liberal? I'm fairly certain pro-choice, freedom to do what you want with what you bought is still a fairly liberal idea as well. I fail to see how politics plays any part here. Everyone seems to think Google's share is for naught. I'm sure you think a credit card company's cut from swipes is also just gravy and doesn't offer any value. The Play Store offers value and they charge for it. The author is upset that they will not be able to get the game with the value that Google offers. Your attempt at trying to make this about politics is ridiculously ignorant and completely shows a lack of understanding of economy. The fact that you even bring up politics means you're probably of voting age and that someone with such lack of understanding of basic principles holds that power... well that downright scares me.
  • Fortnite on mobile. The lag is real. Why bother?
  • play it on blackberry key2 if u want to be safe lol.. Flagship phone with a weak security is not a flagship phone lol
  • Well that rules out your sh*tty cheap Blackberry then, Pixels are the most secure Android phones and with the midrange specs in that garbage phone enjoy the lag and stuttering playing Fortnite on that she*try phone. Blackberry have always been and always will be sh*t.
  • Your sh@tty pos pixel was ruled out the day it was released.
  • LOL...have you seen their screens? He should have bought a Samsung.
  • My screen is fine, mind's a 2018 build and I'm not interested in Samsung and their oversaturated colours and bloated laggy software and gimmicks. Pixel is best for me.
  • The 2018 builds are no different. I and many others I know have 2017 builds that's perfect so please stop telling people there's a difference.
  • There's definitely some differences, mine has minimal blue shift and is a 2018 build.
  • Lol I don't own blackberry key2 but since when android has even been secure... everyday some android gets hacked...garabge Google games loool I rather use my Xbox or pc...why play game on a ****** android phones?pixel is garbage phone
  • My Pixel is near perfection whatever phone you use probably an overpriced iGarbage can't compare with Pixel.
  • The part about re-locking after side loading is something Google should have copied Samsung on a long time ago. Samsung TouchWiz has always be automatically re-locking after a side load.
  • Just another example of how half-evil Google loses out to fully evil Apple every time. Developers want to be dominated and have no respect for a company that tries to strike a balance with its user base.
  • Anyone Remember this?
    "Have a phone that a carrier has blocked from sideloading?  That's an easy problem to overcome with the Android Central Sideload Wonder Machine.  It's a Windows program that can install applications you have downloaded outside the official Android Market to your Android phone."
  • To be fair, the security of the Android Market was near non existent so there was almost no benefit to not sideloading. Context is important.
  • You could always just not play Fortnite on mobile... or at all... just throwing that out there.
  • You guys are definitely wrong. A 30% cut is like a third of your business. Why would anyone on their sane minds allow that?
    Only reason to give in is because apple and google got you by the balls.
  • Android users will be fine. The few who aren't accustomed to sideloading and unknown sources should basically just move down to an iPhone.
  • It's already available on Android from limewire. Probably legit.
  • 30% royalty is scandalous! I don't blame Epic for this decision...
  • I really don't like Fortnite (or any of these shooters), but every Android User brought away from the Appstore is a huge win.
    Their motives might be just money, but the result will be less control by google and people realize they don't need to give google data to get some apps.
  • Their motives are purely financial. They are not offering a secure way to download the APK and verify its integrity. It's merely them hosting the file on their website which will be (1) downloaded and (2) repackaged with malware and (3) posted on sites other than Epic's official one. Now the user who goes to "fortknight.net" instead of epicgames.com will have a nasty surprise waiting for them.
  • If a user download the game from another site that is not epic that's on them. And the same thing can happen with the PC version. But people are not so dumb to download it from a website like soft sonic. If they are its on them.
  • Why couldn't Fortnight just negotiate Google's cut? I understand business models but better to have some piece of the pie rather than nothing. Of course that opens the door for other companies to negotiate since precedent would have been set.
  • That'd never fly if they got special preference over every other developer on their platform.
  • The issue with Fortnite not releasing on the Play Store is twofold.
    1. Bad actors are going to have a field day getting people to install the fake versions that will inevitably appear on the Play Store.
    2. Sideloading apps is inherently risky (particularly on Android 7.x and earlier).
  • And which OS version are most phones currently on? Android 8.0? Nah, it's 7.x and below.
  • I stopped reading this **** post after "Epic Games is only doing this so it can make a few extra pennies from each user is even worse". 30 percent isnt pennies my dude.
  • FREEDOM, is to be used.
    Google Play is as great as you write, but it is not available all over the world as in China
    So as you have to make the effort to provide to all the world Why not do it this way.?
    Perhaps is not worth it for this first game, but EA have a lot of games as Plants vs Zombies ones that can benefit from this strategy.
    PvZ Heroes and PvZ 2 are great Android tittles, they also have PvZ GW in PC and consoles, and they can port them to Android making them freemium, first the GW1 and after it the GW2 when the GW 3 will arrive if it happens, or make the GW1 & 2 for Android freemium at the end of their PC and console life cicle. Wrote that, if not 30% I would ask Google for some kind of cooperation for less money instead of taking that huge risk of developing not only an Android gaming store, but also look for localized advertisement and make also Lignux versions to be available via Crouton or Ristreto in Chrome OS devices too and some Lignux desktop of course.
  • We'll have to agree to disagree. Epic's decision is smart and just as Google doesn't deserve 30% of the cut.
  • I'm confused as to why suddenly Google is evil for something that's been happening forever. Why is every game review on AC not filled with comments about Google's greed? Why do you only care now? Seems like a bunch of fans of Epic are brigading over here. The author's point of view isn't invalid simply because you like the game. The Play Store *does* offer immense value. I will say its possible that maybe it needs to create a tiered system though for huge moneymakers. Generally the 30% cut isn't so bad at small numbers. But if the numbers that Fortnite stands to rake in, I can see why they would choose the direction that they have. I'd say either a ceiling or a tiered approach would work better here.
  • Horribly disgusting, careless company.