Epic 'Pretty Wild' To Ditch Google Play With Fortnite: Experts

Studio Epic Games was "pretty wild" to ditch the Google Play Store with the Android port of its hit battle royale game Fortnite, app insight experts at SimilarWeb believe, a company spokesperson revealed in a statement provided to AndroidHeadlines. As is the case with many other industry watchers, SimilarWeb's analysts were largely taken aback by Epic's decision to avoid publishing its game on the world's largest app marketplace and are now left with little to no options for monitoring Fortnite's commercial performance on Android. "We really only track [Android] apps distributed via Google Play," a SimilarWeb spokesperson said.

Rival firm Apptopia does have a backup plan that relies on panel data, the software insight service revealed to AndroidHeadlines. The term denotes datasets gathered by in-game SDKs with user consent which only encompass representative samples of devices in major markets, meaning the technique is less accurate than conventional tracking methods which usually include a combination of developer data and publicly accessible information such as app store rankings and milestone announcements being processed by proprietary algorithms. With some analytics firms giving up on tracking the Android version of Fortnite and others resorting to improvisation, any third-party reports on the mobile game's performance in terms of either revenue or player numbers are likely to be highly inaccurate.

Google may lose up to $50 million dollars due to the lack of Fortnite on the Play Store, according to some estimates, with Epic citing the 30-percent cut the tech giant takes from all app profits as too high of a price to pay for distribution. Fortnite is already available on proprietary storefronts such as Apple's App Store and Nintendo's Switch eShop but solely because Epic had no other choice if it wanted to bring its battle royale title to those platforms. Fortnite is presently available in an open beta for owners of Samsung Galaxy devices, whereas users of other Android handsets and tablets will gradually be invited to participate in the testing in larger numbers later this year.

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