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Fortnite skips the Google Play Store

Will come directly to Android from Epic Games

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For several months, Fortnite has taken the gaming industry by storm. Millions of gamers across most platforms have already claimed millions of dollars in sales for Epic Games.

Throughout those months, however, Epic Games lacked the one platform that would catapult them to near-astronomical heights — Android. Still, rumors have continuously hinted that the game will come to Android soon.

Thankfully, that rumor will soon turn into a reality. Sadly, that truth comes with a steep price. According to Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Fortnite will not come to the Google Play store.

Instead, Epic Games will turn to their own website and app to distribute their hit game.

The move mimics their strategy on the PC. On that platform, Epic Games skipped the ubiquitous Steam or the alternative GOG.com. Instead, Fortnite uses the developers’ own Epic Games Launcher.

For other platforms, Epic Games was forced to use official stores. For example, Sony and Apple require games to use the PlayStation Store and the App Store, respectively.

Despite the Play Store’s expansive reach, Epic Games has opted out of the store because of Google’s steep tax cut. For all sales through the game, Google has demanded 30 percent for distributor fees. With Fortnite’s current sales numbers, that 30 percent take can result to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

More than Epic Games’ own numbers, the move can also echo across the entire Android ecosystem. Fortnite’s gigantic popularity can push independent distribution as a viable strategy for other apps.

However, the move also exposes Fortnite (and all who follow in its footsteps) to outside threats. For example, malware producers can push their own products disguised as Fortnite.

Even then, gamers might not get the game for a while. Samsung has reportedly entered into an exclusive 120-day contract with the game. With that contract, Fortnite may come to Android exclusively on Samsung’s phone for 120 days.

Other than that, Epic Games distribution strategies are still unconventional. One thing’s for sure: If you want to get Fortnite on Android, you’ll have to go through Epic Games to get it.

SEE ALSO: Fortnite celebrates its first birthday in update

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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