A big new rival is coming to Android and possibly iOS (Image: EPIC GAMES) A massive new Google Play Store rival looks set to launch on Android in 2019, offering up a fresh challenge to the internet giant. Epic Games are reportedly looking to take on the successful App platform with their own venture in
A big new rival is coming to Android and possibly iOS
A massive new Google Play Store rival looks set to launch on Android in 2019, offering up a fresh challenge to the internet giant.
Epic Games are reportedly looking to take on the successful App platform with their own venture in 2019.
And the good news for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – the makers behind the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, is that Epic Games don’t have plans to enter the console market.
News this week indicates that the makers of Fortnite Battle Royale are looking to launch their own Epic Games Store on Android.
And what’s more interesting is that they plan to do it this year, with a rival to Apple’s App Store a possibility in the future too.
The surprise announcement comes from a recent interview with Game Informer, during which Epic’s Tim Sweeney revealed the company’s plans to muscle in on the App market.
This included confirmation of the new App Store heading to Android and also ruled out a move in the direction of consoles.
“The Epic Games store is launching on PC and Mac in 2018, and Android later in 2019,” Sweeney told Game Informer.
“We’d like to launch on iOS in 2019; however, that is in apparent conflict with current Apple policy.
“We believe all general purpose computing devices, such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, should be open to competition between stores.
“Consoles are a different market, with dedicated game machines whose hardware costs are often partly subsidised by software revenue.
“Epic doesn’t seek to operate a storefront on console platforms, but as an engine maker we do everything we can to enable cross-platform interoperability.”
The Epic Games Store was launched in December 2018 and was initially seen as a new rival to Valve’s Steam Store on PC.
One of the things that helps the new Epic Games Store standout from its rival is that it offers developers a larger slice of the profits.
It has been confirmed that the new internet storefront takes 12% at a flat rate, without the use of tiers or thresholds.
That means developers receive 88% of revenue and if they are using the Epic Games-owned Unreal Engine, the company will cover the 5% engine royalty for sales on the Epic Games store, out of Epic’s 12%.
And that doesn’t mean that Epic is looking to hold back on other engines, The Epic Games store is also open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines.
So how will that affect the Google Play Store at launch?
The Epic Games Store will not affect PS4, Xbox and Switch
Google is known to offer the standard 70% revenue cut, meaning that Apps that are sold on the Epic Games Store will offer better revenue splits.
It’s unclear if this new competition will force both Google and Apple to drop their own fees to help compete with the upcoming Store launch.
It’s reported that Google-parent company Alphabet earns around 5% of its annual revenues from the app store, making it an essential part of the Android ecosystem.
The Epic Games Store is already making waves on PC, having recently announced that Ubisoft’s next major release, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, is heading for the new platform instead of Steam.
The new game will be available to purchase on Ubisoft’s own digital store and on the Epic Store on March 15, but will not be available Steam.
“While running Fortnite we learned a lot about the cost of running a digital store on PC,” Sweeney told MCV at the time.
Good news for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo
“The math is quite simple: we pay around 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent for payment processing for major payment methods, less than 1.5 per cent for CDN costs (assuming all games are updated as often as Fortnite), and between 1 and 2 per cent for variable operating and customer support costs.
“Fixed costs of developing and supporting the platform become negligible at a large scale. In our analysis, stores charging 30 per cent are marking up their costs by 300 to 400 per cent,” he revealed.
“But with developers receiving 88 per cent of revenue and Epic receiving 12 per cent, this store will still be a profitable business for us.”
It’s currently unclear when the new Epic Games Store will launch on Android and what it might include on release.
It’s certain that Fortnite Battle Royale will be part of the new App store and may even come with some kind of cosmetic incentive.
Fortnite Battle Royale is already available on Android devices and was not launched as part of the Google Play Store.
It was a highly unusual move on the part of Epic Games, an action that makes more sense following the latest updates.