Developer Epic Games has announced that fifteen million people have installed the popular shooting game Fortnite on an Android device. This is only possible outside Google’s official app store.
A total of 23 million players are registered on Android devices, says Epic Games in a blog post. The developer announced the numbers three weeks after Fortnite appeared on Android.
Fortnite can only be installed via the Epic Games website. At this moment the game is still available in beta for a small number of phones. According to the developer, 92 percent of people play Fortnite on Android 8 or newer.
Epic Games decided not to release Fortnite via the Play Store. One reason for this was that Epic does not have to pay money to Google in this way if a player makes a purchase within the app. Analysis bureau Sensor Tower estimated last month that Google is missing at least 50 million dollars (more than 43, 2 million euros) because of this decision.
There’s also criticism, because downloading outside the Play Store would be dangerous. To install the app, people have to adjust their security settings on the Android device. They fear that in many cases, these security changes aren’t undone, allowing malware to spread more easily on Android.
Tens of malicious websites are being addressed
In the blog post Epic Games says to take action against the spreaders of malware. “So far, Epic has taken action on 47 unofficial ‘Fortnite for Android’ websites,” the company says. “Most of them seem to come from the same people.”
Epic Games says it is actively looking for malware sites. “In addition, we work with third parties to find malicious websites so that we can address them.”
At the end of August, Google discovered a vulnerability in the installation file that Epic Games uses to play Fortnite on Android. As a result, existing malware on the devices of Android users could use the installation file to download other malicious apps.
The leak was closed two days later with an update