The mobile environment is never calm, as Epic Games has now come up with new allegations against Google. It accused the company of making multi-million dollar deals with big publishers, including Activision Blizzard, to block potential competition.
As reported by Bloomberg, Epic Games made these allegations in an amended complaint filed on November 17. Here are the key points:
- In January 2020, Google reportedly agreed to pay Activision Blizzard $360 million over three years to release the publisher’s titles on the Play Store before debuting them on other app stores;
- At the time, the Call of Duty maker also considered creating its own Android app store to launch its mobile games exclusively on it;
- This deal “effectively ensured that [Activision] would abandon its plans to launch a competing app store” (via Reuters);
- According to the filing, Google also made similar offers to at least 24 publishers and developers, including a $30 million deal with Riot Games.
What do Google and Activision say?
- A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg that it has never restricted any game companies from launching competitive app stores.
- The company added that Epic Games misinterpreted the meaning of private business conversations.
- These deals, including the ones with Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, were part of the Project Hug program aimed at making developers give early access to Google Play users for their new games.
- Activision called Epic Games’ allegations “nonsense”, adding that “Google has never asked or pressured us or made us agree not to compete with the app store.”