In brief: Leaked information recently suggested that Fortnite developer Epic Games could be looking to circumvent Google's 30 percent Play Store revenue cut by distributing the Android version of the title directly through its mobile website. Now, Epic's Tim Sweeney has confirmed that information, calling Google's store tax a "high" and unnecessary cost in the mobile game industry.
On Monday we reported that Epic, the creator of popular Battle Royale title Fortnite, could be planning to circumvent the Google Play Store with the game's Android release.
There are many reasons the company may wish to do this, but as we pointed out at the time, chief among them could be the desire to avoid Google's hefty 30 percent Play Store revenue cut.
That information came from source code within Fortnite's website which revealed instructions prompting Android users to download Fortnite through their browser rather than the Play Store. Epic never publicly confirmed the information, though, so it remained a rumor - until now.
The company has now revealed to several outlets that the reports are accurate; Fortnite will indeed be distributed directly from the developers in the form of a dedicated mobile installer.
The company's reasoning behind its decision is two-fold, founder Tim Sweeney said in an interview with TouchArcade. First, Epic wants to have a "direct relationship" with its customers, claiming the "Internet and the digital revolution" has made that process easier than ever.
Furthermore, Sweeney calls the 30 percent "store tax" a "high cost" in the game industry, particularly given the fact that Android is an open platform where Google is not distributing or managing all hardware, like Microsoft and Sony do with their respective consoles.
Sweeney didn't offer any details regarding the release date for the Android version of Fortnite, but he did comment on rumors that the game would be exclusive to the Galaxy Note 9.
"Fortnite will be coming to all Android devices that are capable of running it stably and with good performance," Sweeney asserted. "Stay tuned for details of the launch timing."
It's worth noting that Sweeney's words still leave a bit of room for interpretation. Just because the game will eventually come to all Android devices doesn't mean it won't be a timed exclusive.