The most popular video game in history, Fortnite Battle Royale, is finally available to Android users but because it is not available through the Google Play store, many people will be tricked into downloading copies of the game hacked to include hidden malware.
Just over a year old, its fair to say that Fortnite has been a game changer in the video game world. The massive, online last-man-standing shooter game has been played by over 125 million people and is referenced constantly in popular culture. From Prom proposals to NFL touchdown dances to renewed discussions of online addiction, Fortnite is everyone. Except Android devices until this week. Now that’s all changed with the release of the most popular game, Fortnite Battle Royale, on the most popular mobile device platform, Google’s Android.
The cartoonish game with bright colors, seemingly endless tie-ins to popular movies and media characters and easy playability that lets anyone jump right in and start playing has made the game an unprecedented hit. Fortnite is free but it includes the option to purchase upgrades to advance in the game and unlock bonus features. This has made Fortnite a huge moneymaker for its developer Epic Games who haved used the power of its popularity to bypass the Google Play app store and sell directly to users.
TechCrunch estimates that by selling direct to consumers, Google which normally collects a 30% sales fee for everything sold through its store will lose $50 million or more. Apple collects a similar fee but has a tighter control over iOS devices making it difficult for Epic Games to bypass the App Store where sales to Apple users approach $200 million. Google has a more open platform an allows savvy users to adjust the device’s settings to allow the download of apps from outside Google Play.
Its unclear whether Epic Games will pass on this fee savings to Android users or keep it for themselves but the decision presents significant security risks for Android users who must now download unapproved software onto their Android devices from a third-party website that could be mimicked by hackers. While it may seem like they are merely trying to dissuade other developers from following suit, Google has even taken the unprecedented step to warn its users of the threat of downloading Fortnite and are promoting other, similar games to users searching for Fortnite on Google Play.
Most users are not used to downloading software in this way and bypassing Google Play but the opportunity to play Fortnite will provide an irresistible incentive for many children and adults alike. It’s a perfect situation for hackers to take advantage of. Users will download software, provide personal information and a perhaps a credit card to begin purchasing optional upgrades. Hackers will collect all of this information and if they load the game onto the user’s device the user may not even know that their data has been harvested by criminals. Tens of millions of people are at risk.
Regardless of the platform they play on, MyProfyle advises users to only download the game from the App Store (Apple) or the official Epic Games website to reduce risk. We believe this threat is further proof that everyone’s information is at risk from many different sources and that we are all exposed multiple times per year. The solution to identity fraud is not to try to lock your identity or seek unobtainable privacy but to control your identity – not just your credit – by putting yourself in the position know of, approve or decline activity conducted in your name. That’s MyProfyle Free For Life ™ Identity Protection.
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