Does “Fortnite matter” threaten the Google Play Store

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As a result of the open war against Google and Apple, Epic Games – producer of the hit game Fortnite – saw their game application banned from the official stores of the two giants after the release of the last update, which added a system of internal in-app payments, to circumvent the 30% share that the two companies have in each purchase.

However, unlike iOS, users of Android devices can still access the game on their cell phones. This is because the search giant allows the installation of applications and stores by third-party sources, such as the “.apk” file itself or directly from other stores, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Store, for example. Here in this article we teach you how to install the game on any phone that has the Google operating system.

And that’s what some companies have started to bet on, including Epic Games itself and also Microsoft – which makes its Xbox Game Pass app for Android available through both the Play Store and the Galaxy Store.

Epic Games

After removing its main game from the Google platform, Epic Games began to emphasize the possibility of installing the title through its official website. Not enough, the producer still discloses the possibility of installation by the Galaxy Store for users who have a Samsung cell phone.

Even for the latter, Epic encourages installation by the South Korean manufacturer’s store and even gives a “bonus”. For those who download the game using this method, they will have a 20% discount on some in-game purchases. “You will see that V-Bucks and real money offers now have a discount of up to 20% through the Epic Games app on epicgames.com and the Samsung Galaxy Store,” explains the company.

It is worth remembering that this is not the first time that Epic Games has entered into a conflict with Google. In 2018 the company removed Fortnite from the Play Store on its own due to Google’s practices. Upon returning to making the app available, however, the company published a somewhat accusatory note against the Mountain View giant:

Google puts downloadable software outside of Google Play at a disadvantage, through technical and commercial measures such as repetitive and scary security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive contracts and negotiations by manufacturers and operators, Google public relations featuring third-party software sources such as malware and new efforts, such as Google Play Protect, to completely block software obtained outside the Google Play Store.

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The statement was made in reference to the frequent warnings that Android phones emit when a user tries to install an application outside the Play Store, with alerts that the software may contain malware or may be harmful to the system and the device itself.

Microsoft

Epic Games is not the only one to face Google in this battle. Microsoft also offers “benefits” for its users to download the Game Pass Ultimate (or Microsoft xCloud) directly from the Galaxy Store instead of the Play Store.

The streaming service of the Redmond company is not yet officially available, but the company already points out in advance that its download from the Play Store may make it impossible to purchase DLCs or in-game content. The justification for this is precisely Google’s 30% cut. In return, those who download the game from the Galaxy Store will have access to a full version of the app.

Our vision is to bring a complete experience with in-app purchase features to app stores. However, we are complying with all store policies and do not offer in-app purchases in some stores at this time. To access full in-app purchase features, Samsung customers can download the Xbox Game Pass app from the Galaxy Store; SK Telecom customers can also get a complete ONE Store experience.

Threat to Play Store sovereignty

By making applications and games for Android available in other stores, such as the Galaxy Store, and even offering “advantages” for this alternative download, the sovereignty of the official Google store may be in check.

That’s because users can start turning to their respective manufacturers’ stores instead of the official Mountain View app.

Samsung itself, for example, already makes a massive promotion of its app store. With the availability of xCloud and Fornite with advantages on the platform, this could lead to an exponential growth of the Galaxy Store on Samsung devices at the expense of the Play Store.

This growth could cause other manufacturers – or even third-party developers – to start creating their own app stores to distribute natively on their devices, as an alternative to Google’s app and game download service.


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