Since Fortnite's launch on Android back in August of 2018, Epic Games has skirted Google's mobile storefront by making its staggeringly popular battle-royale shooter downloadable exclusively as third-party software, meaning it's been unavailable through the Play Store marketplace.
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Epic Games has issued harsh words about digital storefront monopolies in the past, with company CEO Tim Sweeney once citing the 30% cut of revenue taken by Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store as "illegal" in a statement.
Them's surrenderin' words
Having apparently come to the conclusion that it's been fighting a losing battle, Epic Games has officially relented and placed Fortnite up for download on the Google Play Store, explaining its decision to do so with the following statement:
"After 18 months of operating Fortnite on Android outside of the Google Play Store, we’ve come to a basic realisation: Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play Store,” reads the statement. “Because of this, we’ve launched Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store.”
The statement continued, “We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field.”
Apple's free pass
Of course, it's worth noting that Apple's App Store policies operate in an almost identical fashion to Google's. However, Epic Games never had the option of releasing Fortnite as third-party software for iOS devices, instead opting to just kowtow to Apple's terms since day one.
We have reached out to Google for an official comment on the matter, and will update this story if the search giant provides a response.
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Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible.
He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.