Fortnite is arguably one of the most talked about video game since its release in 2016.
With its uniqueness in concept and playstyle it has brought more light on the battle royale mode than any other game and has brought in millions of players with its fun mechanics, pace and replay ability.
Epic games, creators of Fortnite, are well aware of this so did not hesitate to make it available on all gaming platforms including PC and mobile devices.
However, things don’t seem to be going too well on the Android side of life, more specifically the apps installation process.
To put it simply, the game is available on Android devices, but cannot be acquired through the Google Play Store.
Epic games has rather implemented a different path to download the application, thus the game will not pass through Google’s Security measures found within the Play Store. So if you are on Android you would need to “side load” the application on your device instead.
Unlike Apple which locks down its iPhones so its customers can only download via the App Store, Android has allowed its users to download programs in multiple ways other than its store.
The downside however is that, apps not acquired through Google’s Play Store have a higher risk of being hacked or prone to viruses, according to Google.
How did this happen?
The issue started only a few days after Fortnite became available on Android.
A google engineer pointed out a vulnerability that could allow hackers to actually replace the game with a fake version.
Google immediately notified Epic about the security flaw, in which they came up with a patch in August, 16 and requested that Google kept the vulnerability secret for 90 days so players had the chance and time to install the patch before allowing the news of the security flaw to go public.
However, Google alerted the public a week later which fell short to criticism from Epic games CEO Tim Sweeney for disclosing the flaw too soon.
The debate as to whether the security flaw should or shouldn’t have been made public early by Google goes back and forth depending on how you look at it.
Would this problem have happened if Fortnite was on the Play Store? Probably not. But Epic did state their reason behind not having the game on the store was clearly a business decision.
Having an application on the Google Play Store permits you to give 30% revenue cut to be taken by Google. And given how Fortnite makes a lot of real money with in-game purchases by players for skins and taunts it’s clear how beneficial the revenue cut would be for Google.
For now, Fortnite is still acquirable on Android but not through the Google Play Store. Chances that would change seem unlikely due to how things turned out.
One can only hope that the security flaw for the game truly is fixed and doesn’t come back to haunt Epic games later in the future.