Over the last few days and weeks, rumors have been circulating that the Android version of Fortnite would be exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Samsung’s new larger-screened smartphone. As Fortnite fans on Android began to fear that they wouldn’t be able to play without forking out for a brand new handset, Epic Games has now revealed more details about its release plans.
Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney was a special guest at today’s Unpacked event, held by Samsung to officially unveil the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. As he took to the stage, Sweeney was quick to reveal that the Fortnite Android beta would go live this week, allowing Android players to help test the game before its full release on the platform. What’s more, though, is that for Samsung Galaxy users, the Android beta is available right now.
The temporary exclusivity of the Fortnite Android beta is just part of a business deal between Epic Games and Samsung. Samsung has long promoted its Galaxy device as incredibly powerful pieces of hardware. Given that Fortnite is a technical feat, supporting cross-platform play and matches of up to 100 players, Samsung will feel that its handset are a good way to show that off.
But some will hope that with all of the focus on the Note 9, Epic Games hasn’t left less powerful smartphones and tablets by the wayside. In a recent interview about the Android version of the game, Sweeney revealed that only high-end handsets released in the last few years would be capable of running Fortnite properly.
By Sweeney’s own math, it amounts to around 12% of Android users being able to play the game at an acceptable level. As such, fans will hope that Epic has done everything it possibly can to optimize the Android version for the full spectrum of supported devices.
It’s important to note that neither the Fortnite Android beta nor the full release of the game will be available through the Google Play marketplace. Epic Games recently confirmed plans to ditch Google Play, partly as a result of the 30% cut of revenue that Google takes for all transactions. Instead, Epic will offer the beta (as well as the full version of the game) through its own launcher, which is available from the developer’s website at fortnite.com/android.
Fortnite is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and iOS devices. The Android beta for the game is now live, with a full release planned for later this summer.