Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Epic Games store to launch on Android, iOS devices - why it makes sense

Epic Games has finally made peace with app stores on Android and iOS after having battled them for close to 18 months. Having debuted its popular Fortnite game on Android in April, the company is now set to launch its digital game store Play Store and App Store. 

Considering that the company CEO Tim Sweeney had steadfastly refused to be part of the Google and Apple app environment ever since Fortnite launched in August of 2018, his latest move appears to be nothing less than an about-turn and some may also call it conciliatory. 

Epic Games had avoided the mobile store front of both Google and Apple when its popular battle royale shooter game Fortnite was primed for entry into their app stores. Instead, the company had made the game available exclusively as third-party software via Epic Games Stores (EGS), thus keeping it away from the marketplace of these two tech giants. 

Sweeney says it's time

In an interview with GameSpot, Sweeney said he would like to bring Epic Games Store to iOS and Android in the future. "We think it is a good way to help the industry move forward and it's another way where Epic as a game developer had built up this audience around Fortnite and learned how to operate a distribution platform on PC and Android," he said. 

However, there is no timeframe appears to have been set for this deployment and there is still no clarity on how it would work. Our belief is that the engagement may work in the same manner that the Stream app does on Android. It allows users to log in via the smartphone, look up and buy games or even chat with friends. 

He said so earlier, too

Of course, this isn't the first time Sweeney has waxed eloquent about launching EGS on mobile devices. In December 2018, Sweeney had spoken to GameInformer  about bringing the store to PCs and Macs in 2018 and follow it up with Android and iOS in 2019. However, through this period, he kept taking potshots at the Play Store and App Store over their revenue sharing habits. 

Going forward, it remains to be seen how Apple and Google respond to Sweeney's idea. For, the EGS could fall foul of established security policies of Apple and even Google, which may not be as stringent but is definitely sceptical of apps outside of the Play Store. 

Works for gamers though

From a gamer point of view, this decision by Sweeney is of considerable importance. Epic Games bringing its store to mobile devices gives users more choices, which is a good thing. Moreover, it would make it easier for gamers to pick up free games that the company brings quite regularly to the market. However, if one doesn't open the launcher on the PC, there is a good chance that one would miss it. With the app on your phone, there may be multiple alerts on the notification bar. 

So, we hope that this time round Sweeney would go by his words and bring EGS on both Play Store and App Store. 

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