Epic Games Store could be coming to mobile to fight walled gardens - The UpStream

Epic Games Store could be coming to mobile to fight walled gardens

posted Sunday Jun 7, 2020 by Scott Ertz

Epic Games Store could be coming to mobile to fight walled gardens

It is no secret that Epic Games has a dislike for the status quo. The company recently changed the licensing for Unreal Engine to make it free until a game has made a million dollars. They also recently launched a low-cost publishing service, bucking the industry norm. Even the Epic Games Store has taken an altered approach to the concept, taking a far smaller percentage. However, their biggest fight has been against the walled gardens of the mobile operating systems.

When Fortnite launched on mobile, it skipped the Google Play Store. Part of the reasoning was because of Google's high commission on sales. To avoid those fees on in-app purchases, which are the lifeblood of a free-to-play game, they required gamers to sideload the app. This created a major security risk but also showed Google that they were serious about fighting the powers. The company eventually relented, making the app available in the store, but the attitude towards the store has not changed.

The next phase of the fight could be bringing the Epic Games Store to mobile platforms. There are other distribution platforms available in the store now, for both Android and iOS. One major example is Microsoft's App Center, which allows developers to distribute test versions of their software to devices without needing to go through the closed platform store. It is possible that Epic is planning to follow this same technological process to allow game developers to get their apps to gamers without the need for the store and without the need for Apple and Google's 30 percent commissions.

It would be interesting to see if Apple or Google would allow such a product in the store. There is a big difference between distributing test versions of an app intended for store distribution to a limited number of testers and bypassing the stores entirely for mass distribution.

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