Epic Games previously announced that the much-awaited Fortnite Android version would be released this summer. After the news broke, Android users have been eager to find more information, but so far the developer has fallen short on the details about how and when the Android version will be released. Rumors and leaks, however, are filling the information gap, and at the same time, bringing bad news for the Android users.
Will Fortnite Android be exclusive to Note 9?
A recent leak from XDA developers suggested that the Fortnite Android version would release on Samsung devices first under the 30-day exclusivity deal. A separate report from 9to5Google claims that the Android version would be exclusive to the Galaxy Note 9, and hence, would launch alongside the Note 9, which is expected to release on August 24.
XDA Developers also reportedly found the names of the Android phones that would support Fortnite. The list names around 40 devices that would get the game after the one-month exclusive license with the Galaxy Note 9 runs out. The list includes smartphones such as the Google Pixel 2 series, and the latest smartphones from LG, Samsung, Huawei among others. All these smartphones come with powerful specs to run the game.
The report mentioned that the list of smartphones supporting the game is limited for now as Epic Games is still working on optimizing the game for other Android smartphones. Based on the list of smartphones that qualify for running the Fortnite Android version, minimum requirements for running the game would be a CPU as powerful as Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, MediaTek MT6737, Exynos 7870 or a HiSilicon Kirin 655. As for GPU requirements, one would need an Adreno 505 and Mali-T720 and at least 3GB of RAM.
May ditch Google Play Store
Adding more to the bad news, the report from XDA Developers also suggested that Fortnite Android might not be available on the Google Play Store.
XDA Developers unearthed the information by scrutinizing the Fortnite mobile page source on the Epic Games website. They found that the players would be “prompted with some security permissions” after they have downloaded the game. According to the text, the security permissions are “necessary to install any app outside of the Play Store.”
Rumors are that with Epic Games bypassing the Google Play Store, it won’t have to give Google a cut in Fortnite’s revenue. On the iOS, the game earns an estimated $2 million per day. For a similar performance on Android, Epic Games will have to pay about $600,000 a day to Google. Even though Epic is worth $8 billion on the back of Fortnite’s success, a fee to the tune of $600,000 is not a small amount.
Instead of the Play Store, Epic will reportedly allow the download from its servers. Although the company would be able to save on the massive fees by avoiding Play Store, the download process may get complicated. The complicated installation process might also hamper the number of players with Android being the biggest mobile platform.
Security could be a concern
Also, the workaround could push a lot of Fortnite’s younger players to the idea of sideloading apps that require disabling certain default Android protections. Scammers earlier took advantage of the careless Fortnite players on the PC, who installed cheating patches. As of now, nothing is confirmed, so all such things must be taken with a pinch of salt.
Previously, Amazon also launched multiple apps to the Android users in the same way, including apps like the original Amazon video app, notes Ars Technica. Amazon Video on the iOS does not pay Apple by forcing users to switch to a web interface in case they attempt to watch paid videos other than those available on Amazon Prime.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has long been protesting against the closed platforms. However, it is not known if the real reason behind the emergence of Epic’s PC game storefront was Microsoft’s mid-10s emphasis on the Universal Windows Platform. Around the same time, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell also opposed Microsoft’s closed platform plans, and launched a Steam Box initiative in response.
Separately, those wondering if Fortnite Android would be cross-platform compatible, the answer is probably yes. Reports are that the Android version would be compatible with the iOS, PS4, PC and Xbox One versions, meaning that the Android players would be able to play with their friends on other platforms. However, there is no information if the cross-play would be available at launch, or if it would be added later.