Google has confirmed in court that Epic has been awarded a $147 million deal to launch its popular game Fortnite on Android’s Google Play Store. From a report: The deal, which Purnima Kochikar, Google’s vice president of Play partnerships, says was approved and presented to Epic but not accepted, would have resulted in the money being raised over three years of “incremental financing” ( ending in 2021) would have been paid out to the publisher of the games. . It was intended to counter a possible ‘contamination’ of popular apps that would bypass the official Android store, and with it Google’s lucrative in-app purchase fees.
Epic launched Fortnite on Android in 2018 directly through its website, avoiding the Play Store. This allowed it to sell Fortnite’s in-game currency, V-Bucks, without paying the commission required for Play Store apps. In 2020, the company relented, saying “creepy, repetitive security pop-ups” and other factors had put it at a serious disadvantage. But in an antitrust lawsuit filed later that year — and currently before a jury — the company claimed its initial decision had sent Google into a panic. It cited internal documents claiming that Google feared a “contagion risk” if other game developers (including Blizzard, Valve, Sony and Nintendo) followed Epic’s lead, and it claimed that Google was trying to prevent this by offering special benefits to to offer or even buy Epic.