The ongoing Epic Games legal battle has been a treasure trove of information for things that go on behind the scenes in the video games industry. Most recently, newly unsealed court filings show that Google once considered buying Epic Games out. And this was a move the company considered to deal with the latter tried circumventing the Play Store cut.
If you need a reminder, the whole Epic Games legal battle was kicked off when it tried circumventing the 30% cut that both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store demands. For the latter platform, it was already possible if Fortnite players sideloaded the game rather than getting it through the Play Store.
This was unbeknownst to us at the time, and because of the court’s protective order we’re just finding out now about Google’s consideration of buying Epic to shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play.https://t.co/HSS1edUrQm
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 6, 2021
The internet search giant saw this as a problem, going as far as to call it a “contagion”. Google has also allegedly offered Epic Games a “special deal” to launch Fortnite on the Play Store.
Naturally, Google has denied the claims. Doing otherwise will likely put it in deeper antitrust hot water. As it is, the company is already alleged to be anti-competitive, with the Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser saying that the company has virtually eliminated rivals and deprived consumers of the benefits of competitive choices.