What’s going on with Epic Games’ lawsuit against Google?

    
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What’s going on with Epic Games’ lawsuit against Google?

Ever since Epic Games took its festering feud with Apple to the courts back in August, lawsuit news has focused on that specific fight – and the willingness of both companies to grandstand in filings (and elsewhere).

But if your memory goes back to August – or you’ve noticed our tag for these stories is “epic-apple-google” – then you’ll recall that Epic actually tried the same stunt with Fortnite on Android, adding an update to the Android title that allowed gamers to bypass Google’s payment system and pay Epic directly. Like Apple, Google ultimately booted Fortnite off Google Play in retaliation, although it never openly threatened Unreal app development on the platform.

But it’s been relatively quiet since. In September, Google asked the judge to dismiss Epic’s suit and attempted to have its lawsuit disentangled from Apple’s. It got its split suit, but not the dismissal. And now, it’s failed in its effort to get the case moved to two years from now.

According to The Esports Observer, the judge in this case, James Donato, rejected Google’s request to delay the case that long. He didn’t pick Epic’s proposed February 2021 date either and instead suggested the two companies should “get moving” to come to an agreement on the date. Either way, it’s moving forward.

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Ruby Lancer

This right here is Epic’s -BIGGEST- hole in their lawsuits as far as I can tell.

They’re going on and doing this fight as if they’re going to break up a monopoly, but the thing with Google and Android is that if Epic really wanted to, they could have made their own mobile storefront for Android and released it to the public. From there they just have to mandate that you must use it to play Fortnite or whatever mobile games they have, and cut Google out of their revenue stream.

Epic hasn’t done this, though, because it would mean that if they ever had any issues with their games or systems on Android, they would most likely have to pay even more than they do already to Google just to get their support team if it was something they couldn’t fix themselves. Further more they would have to pay more money on server costs as well, and that would include any overhead.

Epic wants to sit on storefronts and not have to pay for the store owners to promote and support their stuff. The very company that is complaining about how developers are entitled to all of the profits that are made on a game are very much trying to cut developers out of their fair share of the profits for using their systems.

That and I don’t exactly think Epic is paying their own teams their fair share of the profits and money owed anyway.

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Tom316

Google doesn’t offer any support for the games on its storefront. They also don’t offer server hosting for any games that have server. All they do is check to see if the game is a known virus and then toss it up to download. Heck they don’t even do a good job of checking what they allow up as there are loads of apps an games with Spyware integrated into them.

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

They actually launched Fortnite on Android as a side-load game. It didn’t come to the official store for a long while. The problem was then a bunch of fake versions popped up full of malware and we all know how smart people, especially kids, are when it comes to not clicking on the wrong thing. I assume it’s still side-loadable if you can find the right place to download it from.

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Schmidt.Capela

The right place AFAIK being the “download” tab of the official Fortnite page (though I couldn’t confirm it because it’s behind a login screen and I’m not going to create an account in that junkyard of a company), so not exactly hard to find.

Epic, though, found that not being in the one place where most players look for Android games cut their player base quite a bit. They likely make more by being on the Play Store, even with the 30% cut, than they were making by sideloading the app and keeping all revenue for themselves.

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Pandalulz

I don’t have an android phone and going to the android page on anything else redirects you back to the front page best I can tell.

And yes, railing against the Play store on Android is basically the same as railing against Steam on PC. You can stick your game somewhere else, but good luck with that.

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losludvig

It’s actually far worse, as Play is built into android and is used for most, if not all apps and functions on the phone when you get it, whereas you need to know about, find and download steam on your own.
This is why people were panicking when MS announced the windows store. That one turned out to be an epic fail (pun) not least because of how exceptionally poor the windows store is in every single possible way

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Kickstarter Donor
Pandalulz

That’s true, and that’s where some of that anti-trust speak starts to come in.

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Schmidt.Capela

as Play is built into android

Not quite. It’s bundled, not built in (though for the Android brand to be used the phone must include Google’s software stack, including Play). The distinction is important because a manufacturer who wants to ship an unbranded Android phone — like, say, the Amazon Fire devices, or the Huawei phones — can do so without including Play.

and is used for most, if not all apps and functions on the phone when you get it

The Google libraries and apps — which include Play — are used for everything to do with interacting with Google services, true; but if you aren’t interacting with Google’s services then you don’t need to use Play or any other part of the Google software stack.

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losludvig

you’re correct, but even if it isn’t mandated most android phones do include play, and will update preinstalled apps through play.
I’m pretty sure Huawei wishes they could still be fully onboard the android train. I certainly won’t be buying anything from them if I can’t get the full android experience.

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McGuffn

That’s because Epic’s theoretically wanted to keep the consoles out of this. More importantly, Epic’s stated goal, at least from the PR side, isn’t about a monopoly per se, it’s about the cut the companies take, just like the steam dispute. and if they can get Epic store or whatever on the mobile platform that’s another win for them. But the more moves they make in this regard the more they risk backing into a price fixing lawsuit against themselves.

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Robert Mann

I still think both companies should simply demand access to Epic’s stuff for their own ends in turn. Throw in some suggestions that they can put in advertisements for their services over top of gameplay at times, since they have been part of the success of Fortnite, and such.

Turnabout, after all, is fair play… or at least fair enough play in this case.

Still need a bigger popcorn holder, Earth is too small for this.