Perhaps one of the most important news during 2018 in the world of videogames was the absence of Fortnite in Google Play. We can already say that Fortnite was undoubtedly one of the most successful games during 2018, and expansion to every possible platform has been a key aspect.
Everyone seemed happy with the Google store, until Epic said they did not want to be in the Google store. The reason seemed to be the commission that Google takes, of 30%, for each purchase that a user could make in Android. For Epic, 30% is an abusive figure for what Google Play offered, so they decided to set it up on their own, and it does not seem to have gone wrong.
The AppStore also takes 30% of the revenue from purchases, but in iOS there is no official way to sell applications and games outside the AppStore.
Is that 30% really an abusive number? It depends on the person or company you’re asking. The services provided by Google to developers in exchange for that 30% are worthwhile for small developers who do not have or can not afford distribution, analysis and promotion of their applications.
However, all these Google Play tools have a fixed cost, so the more money an application or game wins, the less profitable it becomes for a company that has developed it. The Google Play commission may be acceptable for freelance developers, but not so much for medium and large studios.
Epic Games has learned enough from their experience with Fortnite for Android to become a direct rival to Google Play. It offers developers the same benefits as Google Play, as well as resources such as the graphics engine used by Fortnite. And they will only keep a 12% commission. This means more money for developers that sell games in that store.
Specialization as the key to success
Throughout the years, there are many stores that have tried to be a reference in Android. At the moment, I’m reminded of Amazon’s own Apps store, which is way behind Google Play.
- Being the creator of Fortnite is a great marketing tool to bring users to your store.
- It is not someone trying to be Google Play. Its strategy is to be a video game store. It is a similar strategy like the one that follows Game competing with big establishments or Steam on PC.
- As a result of what Epic achieves, companies like Valve or Sony could also consider extending their videogame stores to Android.
Why the Epic store has better possibilities? The key is to be a more specialized tool, a store that does not try to replicate to Google Play, but to approach a niche.