Samsung has operated its own app store for years, the Galaxy Store, seemingly as a backup ecosystem in case the company’s relationship with Google ever soured. There aren’t many reasons to use the Galaxy Store over the Play Store, but Samsung now turning Epic Games and Google’s ongoing legal battles to its advantage with a new marketing push.
Samsung announced today that it is “relaunching” the Galaxy Store with a new focus on gaming, but the only change of substance is that the bottom tab bar is being revamped. The store is now separated into two sections, Games and Apps, with the option to view Galaxy Watch apps moved to a new scrolling bar at the top.
The “relaunch” is primarily to remind people that they can still download Fortnite from Galaxy Apps, since Samsung doesn’t care if Epic Games uses its own payment system for in-app purchases. Samsung also highlighted the presence of the Xbox Game Pass app, which exists on the Play Store, but purchasing games and DLC inside the app is exclusive to the Galaxy Store version. Neither of these apps are new — the Xbox app arrived alongside the Galaxy Note20, and Fortnite has been on the Galaxy Store since 2018.
It’s a smart move for Samsung to use its sudden Fortnite exclusivity as marketing for the Galaxy Store, but the game APK is also available for download from Epic Games. Google and Epic’s squabbles won’t be settled anytime soon, as a trial between the two companies likely won’t occur until February 2022 at the earliest.