According to a new report from XDA Developers, Samsung and Fortnite developer Epic Games are partnering to release the hit battle royale game as a Galaxy Note 9 timed exclusive.
The report comes via a “trusted source” who remains anonymous and suggests that the new Samsung phone will have 30 days of Fortnite exclusivity when it launches this coming September.
According to XDA Developers, Fortnite will take advantage of the phone’s stylus pen and Samsung will bill the hefty Note 9 as a gamer’s phone.
According to the anonymous source, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 “launch is going to be based around Fortnite. The launch video for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also going to be based around Fortnite Mobile. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is going to be the first phone to launch and have Fortnite Mobile on it. According to our source, anyone that buys the Galaxy Note 9 is also going to get some free V-Bucks, free skins, and more. V-Bucks are used to buy a battle pass and skins, dances, or gliders in the game. This will all be bundled with the phone when it launches.”
According to the website, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins will be part of the launch of the Note 9 as well.
9to5Google is reporting the very same information, also from an anonymous source. Whether the source for the two sites is the same person is unknown. The website writes:
The phone will be announced on August 9th, while the latest rumorssuggest August 14th for the opening of pre-orders, and August 24th for public availability. So doing the quick math, if Fortnite is exclusive to the Note 9 for a month, late September (23rd?) seems to be the likely launch timeframe for the rest of the devices Epic Games decides can handle the battle royale game.
The website suggests that Galaxy Note 9 pre-order customers will get $100 to $150 in V-Bucks or, alternatively, a pair of wireless AKG headphones with their purchase. V-Bucks are the in-game currency in Fortnite used to purchase cosmetics or the seasonal Battle Pass.
What To Make Of This Report
As far as I can tell, there’s some slight plausibility to this but I still find it far-fetched. For one thing, Android users have already had to wait a long time for the game which launched on Apple products months ago. For another, I’m not sure how Samsung and Epic plan to make this exclusive to just one Android model. Surely whatever barriers they have in place won’t keep hackers out for a full month, and players will be sideloading the game within days.
While this might be a nice marketing ploy on Samsung’s part, I fail to see the benefit of this move for Epic. They have offered exclusive in-game cosmetics through Twitch and Sony’s PlayStation Plus service, but the studio has never locked content behind a specific platform before. Indeed, the entire modus operandi of Fortnite is to make the game work across as many platforms as possible as fluidly as possible, which is why it’s not only cross-platform but cross-progression on most every conceivable platform (with the exception of Sony which prevents both cross-play and cross-progression on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and PS4 and Nintendo Switch.)
I’d say take these reports with a grain of salt. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Samsung and Epic used the launch of the Note 9 and the Android version of Fortnite in tandem, using one another to market each company’s products. Apple often shows off the latest iPhone with a snazzy new game, and Samsung showing off how the Note 9 plays Fortnite (replete with stylus integration) would certainly make for a good show. As to all the exclusive stuff, let’s just hope that’s nothing more than rumor and misinformation.
Finally, the notion that anyone ordering the phone will get $100 to $150 in V-Bucks seems frankly unbelievable to me. That’s a lot of V-Bucks to give players just for buying a phone. In fact, that’s so many V-Bucks that it seems like a move that might genuinely anger the Fortnite community, a gaming community that is notoriously happy with the game and its developer/publisher. With Epic raking in hundreds of millions a month on the free-to-play title, I can’t quite fathom what would bring them to the table for this kind of deal.
We’ll find out soon enough. Fortnite’s arrival on Android should be any week now.