Epic launched its new video game store at the end of last year in an effort to compete with Valve’s sizeable revenue split. The publisher isn’t stopping there, however, as Epic is in the early stages of tackling Google’s Play Store on Android.
It’s no secret that Epic Games isn’t a fan of larger revenue splits, opting to self-publish Fortnite: Battle Royale on both PC and mobile platforms. The new store is a means of circumventing this supposedly extortionate fee, and it seems as though developers are biting, forgoing Steam entirely in favour of the platform. The biggest wins so far see The Walking Dead: The Final Season revived, and Ubisoft strike a partnership to bring The Division 2 to the Epic Store. The next logical step, then, is for the publisher to expand its store to cater towards Android games, a move which CEO Tim Sweeney seems to have confirmed in an interview with Game Informer last year.
“The Epic Games store is launching on PC and Mac in 2018, and Android later in 2019,” he said. “We’d like to launch on iOS in 2019, however, that is in apparent conflict with current Apple policy. We believe all general purpose computing devices, such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, should be open to competition between stores. Consoles are a different market, with dedicated game machines whose hardware costs are often partly subsidized by software revenue. Epic doesn’t seek to operate a storefront on console platforms, but as an engine maker we do everything we can to enable cross-platform interoperability.”
When GamesIndustry.biz reached out for clarification, an Epic Games representative stated that it would be “premature” to provide details on its current development. Of course, the PC and Mac stores take precedence at the moment, being just over a month old, but its mobile store presented in a near unified front does make sense.
Sadly, to play Fortnite: Battle Royale on Android, players currently need to tick the option to allow for third-party applications to install. As one keen-eyed reader points out, this can be a security risk, particularly for the masses that are undereducated on digital safety when browsing the net. It remains to be seen how Epic Games would tackle this for other applications that eventually choose its third-party store.
KitGuru Says: I personally don’t play many mobile games, but I see the value in providing a competing certified store that guarantees downloads are safe. Would you use an Android version of the Epic Store?