Google Sues Epic Games for Owed Fortnite Money

by in Fortnite | Oct, 13th 2021

The Epic Games and Apple lawsuit regarding the App Store and Fortnite has expanded to involve more parties. This time around, there is a new lawsuit that Epic is involved in that has to do with Google and the Play Store. This new Google Epic Games lawsuit is quite intense, too. 

Google Epic Games Counter Lawsuit Begins

The new Google Epic Games lawsuit is a counter-lawsuit from Google against Epic for what it believes has been allegedly done. The lawsuit essentially states that Epic Games owes money to Google for Fortnite on the Google Play Store and that this money has not yet been paid. 

It all boils down to not only the money that was lost but how it happened over the last couple of years. Google alleges that Fortnite came to the Google Play Store and Android mobile devices in general in 2019, following some “lackluster” sales for it in general. 

According to the Google Epic Games lawsuit, this was done with the intention of Epic Games not to follow through on contractual agreements made between the two companies. This was in regards to certain service fees that are required for using the Google Play Store.

In this way, Epic Games reportedly deceived Google by allowing Fortnite on the Google Play Store, even though the former had the full intention of not following through on the rules in place by the latter. How this came about was with the microtransactions system that Fortnite has. 

It All Started With Fortnite’s V-Bucks Discount Event

As was the case with the Epic Games and Apple lawsuit, it all began with the event that Fortnite created in 2020. It promoted to the players in the community that they could permanently save money on the virtual Fortnite currency known as V-Bucks with a hefty discount involved. 

This could be enjoyed by players in the community so long as they paid the money for the V-Bucks directly to Epic Games through its payment system, rather than using that of their platform’s holder. In the case of Android and iOS devices, this essentially meant sidestepping their authorities and paying directly to Epic.

The problem with this was that it stopped Epic Games from owing money to Google and Apple, respectively, since the transactions were not going through their respective mobile app stores but rather just involving Epic Games and the player. 

Since Epic Games was saving on the significant cut of the profits that Google and Apple take from every transaction made through apps downloaded from their stores, this method of hosting microtransactions allowed the developer to put the savings onto the consumer in the end. 

Epic Reportedly Broke the Google Play Store DDA

This ended up being fine for the other platforms, like the three console manufacturers and, of course, Epic’s game store on PC, where you can download Fortnite there, but this was a vast problem for both of the mobile platforms. 

At the time, it was mainly just Apple pursuing counter lawsuits against Epic Games while also taking down the game on the store. For the most part, the Google Epic Games situation has been quiet besides the removal of Fortnite from the Google Play Store. 

Well, until now, that is. With the Google Epic Games lawsuit now involved, it looks like Google is ready to start working towards getting the money back that it believes that it is owed. With the microtransactions system that Epic came up with last year to avoid payments to Google, it reportedly broke the Developer Distribution Agreement that Epic signed. 

That is why the app was removed from the store since Epic Games reportedly broke the agreement between the two. However, the actual lawsuit is not necessarily just about that fact alone, but the amount of money accumulated in the year since that removal. 

Players Can Still Play Fortnite on Android

After all, all of the players who could download and install Fortnite before its removal from the Google Play Store could still play it for a good bit of time. Since they could continue playing the game so long as they did not delete the title, those players were then able to play Epic Games directly from then on. 

This is a potential problem since this means that players could have been purchasing currency and paying directly to Epic Games, even though the app came from the Google Play Store, which would mean money lost on Google’s part that it never received. 

As such, this Google Epic Games lawsuit is there to see restitution for the payments made to Epic without Google also receiving its cut. At the same time, Google denies all of the allegations and claims that Epic Games has made already. 

It looks like the Apple and Epic Games lawsuit may not be the only one tied up in courts for the next few years, as it seems that Google and Epic could be well on their way to a similar scenario. Regardless, like with the App Store, it looks like it could be years before we formally see Fortnite come back to the Google Play Store. 

However, unlike with the locked iOS infrastructure, Fortnite has been able to thrive on the Android platform just fine without the need for it being on the Google Play Store. Players have a few options for downloading the game and still playing it officially on Android. 

There is the Samsung App Store where you can officially download the game still and enjoy it there. Or, you could even go through the official Fortnite game launcher on Android and get it there. That said, this legal battle will still be important for the future of Fortnite. 


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