Some think it was a brilliant decision, others call it brave, but when Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, creators Epic Games decided to bypass Google Play. Instead, the gaming company chose to offer the game direct from its own website. So, Fortnite on Google will never come to fruition now.
Now Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) can expect to lose $50 million or so of platform fees it otherwise would have made from the game.
Given the popularity of Fortnite, cutting out the middle-man seemed a wise move.
Epic Games made the decision in the belief that its game is popular enough to draw players to its website for Android download and it may be right; as of its launch, the game has grossed over $180 million on Apple’s iOS so far.
Because iOS apps can only be downloaded from the Apple store, Epic Games had to launch the new Fortnite from its iOS platform to allow Apple users to download it. This is earning Apple (NASDAQ:APPL) more than $54 million due to its 30% cut of the in-app spending that occurs on apps distributed in its store.
That is money Epic Games isn’t willing to give to Google if it doesn’t have to.
Google’s platform is more open. Android apps can be downloaded from anywhere on the web and don’t need to come from Google Play—hence, Fortnite on Google doesn’t have to happen.
Concern About Confusion
However, concern has been raised about the confusion this might cause—especially as Fortnite does reach a younger demographic. Players could be fooled into downloading copy-cat apps thinking it is the real deal on the Google Play store, as scammers take advantage of the popular game’s absence on the platform.
Google is preparing for that too, as it is informing Google Play users that the game is not available for download.
This is the first time Google has ever done this.
Trouble for Google?
If this move by Epic Games prompts other large games to follow suit, Google could amass a huge accumulated loss from platform ‘tax.’ If this becomes the norm, Googles losses will climb.
Statistics are predicting that over the rest of 2018, Fortnite will have gained at least $50 million in revenues that would otherwise have been paid out to Google.
Did you see that one coming, Google?
Featured Image: Fortnite