Google could miss out on a $50 million payday this year alone as a result of Epic Games’ decision not to distribute Fortnite for Android through the Play Store.
Android users must download the game directly from Epic‘s own website instead. This allows the company to sidestep Google’s 30 percent cut of all revenue.
Epic has been criticized for its decision not to offer Fortnite through the Play Store. Many Android fans argue that the installation process leaves users vulnerable because it forces them to allow apps from “unknown sources.”
But it’s easy to see why Epic is choosing to distribute the game itself.
Epic avoids giving Google a cut
Just like Apple, Google demands that developers hand over a 30 percent cut of all revenue made on apps and in-app purchases. And right now, Fortnite is making a ton of cash.
Since it landed on iOS back in March, the game has raked in a whopping $180 million from iPhone and iPad alone. It is expected to make the same kind of cash — if not more — on Android by the end of 2018, according to data from Sensor Tower Store Intelligence.
“There is a chance that it will even surpass what we’ve witnessed thus far, based on factors such as the game’s increasing popularity, the growing impact of each new season’s Battle Pass on revenue (these release every 10 weeks), and the potential for players in countries where both Google Play and the iOS version are not available to directly download the APK and spend in the game,” reads the report.
Google could have made over $50 million
Had the game been distributed through the Play Store, then, Google could have pocketed upwards of $54 million— roughly the same amount Apple has made from Fortnite so far. But by distributing the game itself, Epic has ensured that every penny made on Android ends up in its own bank account.
This is one advantage Android offers game developers, but only those as big as Epic — with games as big as Fortnite — would demand that users avoid the Play Store and download a title directly.