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Google Offered Epic Games $147 Million to Launch Fortnite on Play Store

Epic Games
10/11/2023 | Google offered Epic Games $147 million to launch Fortnite on the Play Store, a revelation in the ongoing trial, exposing app store dynamics and revenue battles. | Credits: Epic Games/Google

In a revelation during the Google vs Epic trial, it was confirmed that Google proposed a $147 million deal to Epic Games in 2018 for launching Fortnite on the Play Store. The offer, approved by Google’s VP of Play partnership, aimed to prevent major game publishers from bypassing the Play Store. However, Epic Games rejected the deal, opting to distribute Fortnite directly on its website, circumventing Google’s commission structure.

Antitrust Lawsuit and ‘Contagion Risk’

Following Fortnite’s direct distribution, Epic Games filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. Internal documents presented during the trial suggest that Google feared a ‘contagion risk’—a scenario where major mobile game developers would follow Epic’s lead and leave the Play Store. Google offered special benefits to alter Epic Games’ decision. The documents reveal Google’s forecast, estimating a potential loss of billions in revenue if major game developers abandoned the Play Store.

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Revenue Impact and Google’s Concerns

Google projected a revenue loss of $130 to $250 million for Fortnite due to its absence from the Play Store. The tech giant also anticipated a broader loss of $3.6 billion if other publishers emulated Epic Games. Google argued that the proposed investment was justified as it aimed to retain major developers on the Play Store.

Monopoly Allegations by Epic Games

Epic Games is leveraging these documents to support its claim that Google’s Play Store holds a monopoly over Android app distribution. The trial sheds light on the competitive dynamics between major game developers and app store platforms, emphasizing concerns related to antitrust practices and revenue protection.

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Industry Implications

The Google vs Epic trial highlights the strategic battles between tech giants and content creators over distribution channels and revenue-sharing models. The outcome of the trial may influence the policies and practices of major app stores and shape the future landscape of digital content distribution.

Conclusion

As the trial unfolds, the gaming industry watches closely, anticipating potential shifts in the dynamics between app developers and platform providers. The revelations provide insights into the competitive manoeuvres and financial considerations at play in the mobile app ecosystem.

Note: The trial is ongoing, and further developments may impact the narrative and outcomes discussed in this article.

Anish Prasad
Anish Prasad
I am an ex-eSports athlete who never left eSports by heart. I cover eSports and live in the world of eSports and Games. That's all for now. We can connect on: