The internet was abuzz over Epic’s decision to exclude the Google Play store with their Android version of Fortnite. Instead, the company decided to offer the download on their own website and thus not bowing to Google and their 30% cut of revenues from all apps on the Google Play store. The gamble apparently worked out just fine. Epic is boasting 15 million downloads and 23 million players in the first twenty one days of the Android version launch.
The stats sound impressive, but according to Epic Games, the Android version has come with a bevy of headaches which they have been working hard to remedy. In fact, Google sent some engineers to Epic Games to help fix and tweat the game for the most optimised Android experience possible. Call that self interest, but clearly Google wants the Android version of Fortnite to be a success regardless of any hurt feelings about the Google Play decision.
Another big hurdle which won’t surprise many of you Android users is fragmentation. There are so many mobile phones using a variety of processors, components and Android versions, that you could imagine the difficulty in tackling this landscape. The way Epic Games describes this, it is a very mixed bag of result to which they are working hard on addressing in future updates. Most phones from the past two years will be fine, but Epic Games is adding options so players can decide the ideal balance between performance and visuals.
The challenges go far beyond just fragmentation. Epic Games lists rendering performance, memory, graphics API and fake download sites with malware as being some other concerns and issues. They are not oblivious to the fact they are paving the way for future mobile games that can make use of their findings and efforts through what seems like a lot of trial and error.
If you read the entire blog post on Epic Games about the technical side to the Fortnite Android it will most certainly give you a new appreciation for what they’ve done here. They really are pioneers when you consider the cross platform aspect of Fortnite and the difficulty and challenges to include Android into the mix. It’s commendable to be honest. They put a lot of work and continue to put a lot of resources into Fortnite Android so offer up your support if you want to see more of these types of gaming experiences on mobile. If this game on Android fails to succeed or becomes a negative experience, it’s going to limit future games. That’s not a good thing and we can all agree on that.