Through the deal, the company aims to stop popular applications from bypassing the official Android store, in addition to ensuring lucrative in-app purchase fees.
The deal sees the money distributed over three years of additional funding for the game publisher, according to Poornima Kochikar, the company’s vice president of Google Play apps and games, although Epic Games rejected the deal.
Epic Games launched Fortnite in 2018 for Android directly through its website, avoiding the Google Play Store.
This move allowed the company to sell Fortnite’s in-game currency, V-Bucks, without paying the commission required for Google Play Store apps, although it backed down in 2020, explaining that scary and frequent security pop-ups and other factors put it at a disadvantage.
Its initial decision panicked Google, according to Epic Games’ statements in the antitrust lawsuit it filed later that year, which is currently being argued before a jury.
Epic Games cited internal documents claiming that Google fears the spread of infection if other game developers follow in Epic Games’ footsteps, including Sony, Nintendo, Blizzard, and Valve. Epic Games claimed that Google tried to prevent this by offering special benefits or even buying Epic Games.
Google feared that almost all major game developers could bypass the Google Play Store within two years of Epic Games’ decision, costing the search giant billions of dollars in total revenue.
Documents presented in court predicted that Fortnite’s absence could result in a direct loss of revenue of between $130 million and $250 million, with a widespread loss of up to $3.6 billion expected if major game developers bypass the Google Play Store.
Google argued that its position stems from its concern about losing games through the Google Play Store, and there is nothing wrong with that, as it wanted developers to choose to launch games through the Google Play Store.
Google believes that launching games through its store is worth all this money as an investment, especially when these developers choose to release games first for iOS.
Epic Games uses these documents to suggest that Google feared competition over publishing Android apps and maintained the Google Play Store as an illegal monopoly.