Those caught in the middle of this spat — ordinary App Store and Google Play users — won’t notice much change. Apps and games remain available for download, and you’ll still go through their respective payments system to purchase content directly on their devices. The long-term implications aren’t as cut-and-dry, but Epic will likely continue playing ball. According to data gathered by Business of Apps, of the $89 billion spent on mobile gaming in 2021, iOS games generated $52.3 billion versus Android’s $37.3 billion.
Although Epic earns most of its “Fortnite” revenue on PC and console, mobile’s latest contribution isn’t small potatoes. According to a “Fortnite”-specific report by Business of Apps, the battle royale title earned $5.1 billion in 2020, with mobile platforms contributing $1.1 billion during the game’s lifetime. Total revenue jumped to $5.8 billion in 2021.
Based on those numbers, it’s safe to say Epic would still earn enough to support the resources required to maintain development on the platforms. Our best guess is “Fortnite” will return, even if Epic loses money on the move. (Even CEO Tim Sweeney hinted as much.) Platform ubiquity provides a major benefit for players. If they can log off from their PC and keep playing on the move, providing that experience for its wider customer base should be worth more to Epic than the 15% to 30% premium it eats. Anything extra is like a juicy cherry atop an enormous $1.1 billion banana split.