As Fortnite is not heading to Google Play, Google has now started informing Android users that they won't find Fortnite on the Play store. The search giant is showing a message that confirms the absence of the game - it appears when you search for Fortnite through Google Play. This is perhaps a first for the maker of Android, and it appears to be a measure to protect users from downloading any random app or game that maliciously identifies as Fortnite on the app store. The Fortnite Android beta was announced at the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launch event on Thursday. It will initially be exclusive to Samsung devices, though the game will also reach non-Samsung devices in "the next few days" as well.
When you search for keywords such as "Fortnite" or "Fortnite Mobile", Google Play shows a message that reads, "Fortnite Battle Royal by Epic Games, Inc is not available on Google Play." This highlights the absence of the game that recently gained huge popularity. Nevertheless, the Play store does show other app listings, including Fortnite arch-rival PUBG Mobile, in the More Results section that sits below the message.
As some Reddit users first reported, Google is ultimately helping users from being scammed by fake apps while looking for Fortnite through the new message. One of the Reddit users in the thread also pointed out that Google has inaccurately spelled the name of the game as "Fortnite Battle Royal", while it is officially called "Fortnite Battle Royale". Furthermore, the message only appears when you search for the game through the Play store on your Android device - not through your desktop or notebook as it doesn't come up on the Web version of Google Play.
It is unclear whether Google will show similar messages for other games and apps in the future as well. We've reached out to the company to get clarity on the development and will update this space accordingly.
Has Fortnite pulled off an epic move by abandoning Google Play and going Samsung exclusive? We discussed that on Transition, our weekly gaming podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.