The conflict between Epic Games and Apple, and now the big ‘G’ sued the Fortnite developer video game studio. According to the accusations, Epic breached the contract to distribute the battle royal Fortnite on the Play Store.
This agreement, they claim from Google, has at no time prevented it from obtaining benefits from other forms of distribution on Android, and whose breach it understands as deliberate after they signed a contract.
Google countersuit to Epic Games
This Monday, Google filed a counterclaim with Epic Games, highlighting that “consumers and developers do not have to use Google play, they choose to use it when given the choice between Android app stores and distribution channels. “
This refers to the fact that, although Google Play is the company’s main store for Android applications, and it is usually by default in mobile phones that use this operating system, as this is open software there are other stores, other forms of distribute Android applications, such as the Galaxy App store, pre-installed on devices Samsung.
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Precisely, the company recalls that Fortnite first came to Android through the Samsung store, in 2018, and not the Play Store. But it was also available for download via the Epic page (again without requiring the Play Store), DPA indicates.
In addition, Epic negotiated agreements with other mobile manufacturers to integrate the Fortnite application into their devices by default.
“Far from generating anticompetitive damages, Android and Google Play provide enormous benefits for developers and users, and they do so at no cost to users and with minimal cost to developers in the vast majority of cases,” explains Google, indicating that “Epic’s lawsuit threatens to undermine, rather than enhance, the very competition that has brought these benefits.”
In the counterclaim, Google alleges that Epic “has benefited greatly from the secure platform provided by Google Play (…). Not satisfied with these huge benefits, reached a legal agreement with Google that it never intended to abide by, misleading Google and concealing its true intentions to provoke a legal and public relations confrontation that continues to this day. “
Fornite came to the Play Store until April 2020, for which the developer signed the Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) with Google. This agreement includes Google’s policies as well as the products that developers can access for free and the fees they have to pay for paid services.
“Under a DDA, Google does not collect a service fee unless the developer chooses to monetize their application distributed on Google Play, and only if the developer charges for downloads, internal purchases or subscriptions,” explains Google. To incorporate it, as is the case on most platforms, Epic chose the freemium model for Fortnite (free to download or free-to-play, speaking of the word gamer) in the Play Store, as Google explains.
“Epic never paid Google anything for the millions of times Android users downloaded Fornite from Google Play”, he assures, and clarifies that he collected a service fee “only if and when Fornite players bought internal content of the app in the version of Fortnite downloaded from Google Play.”
Google stresses that Epic were not required to sign a DDA, and that they even benefited from the alternatives offered by the Android ecosystem.
But he signed the agreement knowing its terms, which for the tech company means that “Epic deliberately planned to violate the terms of the DDA to avoid paying Google anything at all on the percentage of transactions that would be subject to Google’s service fee. “.
Why are Epic Games in legal dispute with Google and Apple?
In August 2020, both Apple and Google decided to withdraw Fornite from app stores, after the studio introduced a new independent payment system, which operated directly through its own Epic Games Store platform.
In this way, purchase transactions in Fortnite avoided giving the rates that the two technology companies charged for payments on their respective platforms.
The Fortnite application is free and can be played without paying anything; But players can access more content by paying, and that’s Epic Games’ way of monetizing. This situation led to a legal dispute between Epic with Apple and with Google.
In the latter case, the study focused on the agreements it had with OnePlus, to offer an adapted version of Fortnite on the new smartphone, which takes advantage of some of its features, such as the 90Hz screen.
In the lawsuit, Epic alleged anti-competitive practices, as collected by The Verge. Meanwhile, the dispute in the courts with Apple still gives something to talk about, as it was recently reported that the company led by Tim Cook will continue in the legal dispute after the judge ordered Apple to relax the control of payment options in the App Store, for which it maintained that Epic could not prove any violation of antitrust legislation.