During the ongoing legal battle between Google and Epic Games, it was revealed that the IT giant offered the video game developer $147 million in payments for placing the Fortnite promotion on the Play Store platform. Court documents show that the proposal, approved by Google management, was sent to Epic Games but was rejected there.
As part of this deal, Epic Games would reportedly receive payments from Google over a period of three years, ending in 2021. It is noted that Google seriously feared that other major developers such as Blizzard, Valve, Sony and Nintendo would also refuse to use the Play Store and start distributing games themselves, which could lead to significant financial losses. Google estimates Fortnite’s absence from the Play Store could result in lost revenue of $130 million to $250 million, or up to $3.6 billion if other major publishers exit the site.
Recall that in 2018, Epic Games launched the Android version of Fortnite and distributed it through its website, bypassing the Google platform. This allowed the company to sell in-game currency without the commission that would have to be paid when the game was published on the Play Store. Epic Games now claims that Google is disrespecting competition in third-party distribution of Android games and abusing its market power by charging a 30% commission on in-game payments for apps published on the Play Store.