Google’s battle with game developer Epic has taken an interesting turn, as new court documents reveal that the tech giant offered a staggering $147 million deal to Epic to launch its popular game Fortnite on the Google Play store.
The deal, which would have seen the money disbursed over a period of three years, was an attempt by Google to entice Epic into joining its lucrative platform. However, Epic had other plans and decided to bypass the Play store altogether by launching Fortnite on Android through its website in 2018. By doing so, the company avoided paying the hefty fees imposed by Google for app downloads and in-app purchases via its platform.
This move by Epic reportedly panicked Google, who feared that other game developers would follow suit and opt for alternative distribution methods. Internal documents revealed in court shed light on Google’s concerns that top game developers could defect from the Play store, resulting in a potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue.
Google has argued that its intention was to have developers choose its Play store over other options, thereby protecting its game business from competition, especially from Apple’s iOS. However, Epic has taken a different stance, alleging that Google’s Play store operates as an unlawful monopoly. They argue that the existence of the $147 million deal supports their claim, as it demonstrates the tech giant’s attempt to stifle competition and maintain its dominance in the market.
Beyond the specifics of this case, it offers a valuable insight into Google’s perspective on its games business. The court proceedings have shed light on the company’s significant concerns about losing top developers and the potential consequences for its revenue stream.
As the legal battle between Epic and Google continues to unfold, the implications for the wider gaming industry and the tech giant’s control over app distribution will be closely watched. The outcome of this landmark case could have far-reaching consequences for the way app developers choose to distribute their products and the level of competition in the market.
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