Epic Games fights Google over revenue cut, releases Fortnite on Play Store

Epic initially set up the Epic Games Store to combat Steam’s same business model

Epic Games has finally listed Fortnite on the Google Play Store after 18 months, but not without getting a final word in. The game developer has called out Google for its 30 per cent revenue take model, after begrudgingly putting the game on the store.

In a new statement to IGN, Epic Games explained its decision to finally release Fortnite on the Google Play Store, while reiterating its disdain for the conglomerate’s business model. It alleges that Google puts software that is downloadable outside of the Google Play Store at a disadvantage through various technical and business measures, including “repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software”, “restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings” and “characterising third-party software sources as malware”.

“Because of [the disadvantages], we’ve launched Fortnite for Android on the Google Play Store”, Epic Games said in the statement.

Advertisement

“We’ll continue to operate the Epic Games App and Fortnite outside of Google Play, too. 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.”

This isn’t the first time Epic Games has gone head-to-head with a distributor, as the company famously went after Steam’s same 30 percent revenue cut, and decided to forego the platform entirely, creating the Epic Games Store in its place to release independently.

Speaking to The Verge in 2018, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney heavily criticised both Google and Steam for their revenue cuts. He said: “The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games… There’s a rationale for this on console where there’s enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers… 30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform, such as payment processing, download bandwidth, and customer service.”

Fortnite was first released in 2017 on consoles, before making its way to mobile in 2018. As of today, Fortnite is available on the Google Play Store.

In other Fortnite news, Epic Games has pushed back the upcoming third season of Fortnite Chapter 2 by slightly over a month. Season 3 was originally slated to launch on May 1, but will instead now kick off on June 4.

Advertisement
Advertisement