Epic Games has already filed a lawsuit against Google for removing the Android version of Fortnite from the Google Play store. What this lawsuit also reveals is that Google allegedly forced another phone manufacturer, One Plus, to end their deal with Epic Games that would preinstall a version of the Fortnite launcher on its phones. Another potential deal with Android phone maker LG was allegedly squandered due to a contract LG had with Google to “block side downloading off Google Play Store this year.” Epic Games says this contract wording came from LG itself, and that the phone maker would only go forward with a deal if the Google Play Store was used. Fortnite’s introduction of a direct payment system is viewed as a circumvention of a lot of app store policies, including Google and Apple’s, and is at the forefront of this litigation.
There was an exception placed on the alleged deal block from Google that allowed One Plus to implement the preinstalled Epic Games app exclusively on devices sold in India. The app would include a special version of Fortnite with a “state-of-the-art framerate” and an even better gameplay experience. Needless to say, this is something they’ve invested in with the hopes to provide it to players worldwide, not just in one region. Google was apparently concerned that the app would “have the ability to potentially install and update multiple games with a silent install by bypassing the Google Play Store.” Epic Games calls these policies “anti-competitive restraints” and hopes to be able to “negotiate with OEMs to make Fortnite and other Epic Games directly available to consumers.”
What Epic Games is trying to do here is progressive, to say the least, and if they are able to win their lawsuit and proceed with similar practices, it won’t be long until we see other companies doing the same.