Epic Games has launched Fortnite Battle Royale into beta on Android, beginning with selected Samsung Galaxy devices and hitting all supported smartphones and tablets running Google’s mobile OS in a few days. This follows the unexpected announcement that Epic will provide the game exclusively through its own website, rather than distributing it on Google Play or other app marketplaces.
With the Android launch finally upon us, we project that, based on Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data, Google stands to miss out on at least $50 million in platform fees during the remainder of 2018 due to this unprecedented decision.
Fortnite has grossed more than $180 million so far on iOS devices, where it has been available exclusively since launching March 15 in an invite-only beta that later expanded to all App Store users. Sensor Tower estimates that Apple has made more than $54 million from the game so far via its 30 percent cut of all in-app spending on its store.
We expect that once Fortnite rolls out to the full compliment of supported Android devices, its launch revenue on the platform will closely resemble the first several months of App Store player spending. 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.
There is some concern that by circumventing Google Play, Epic may potentially make it more challenging for users to install Fortnite on devices running older Android versions, where side loading of apps isn’t as straightforward as in more recent releases. We expect this to have some impact on downloads of the game, but not to a large enough degree as to affect its revenue potential in the long run.
Season 6 of Fortnite is expected to kick off during the final week of September. We’ll have more on the state of game before then.
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