Play Store: Will Google Pay developers stay?

The developer of “Fortnite” game, Epic Games, has sued Apple and Google for some time because it does not consider the commission models and business practices of the respective app stores to be legal. The game “Fortnite” was launched from both the App Store and Google Play Store after Epic tried to bypass the high fees of the sales platforms. as
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Reported, the studio is now filing another charge against the Google group in court. He is said to have paid developers hundreds of millions of dollars as part of an internal program called “Project Hug” (German: Project Hug) so they could continue to sell their apps via the Google Play Store. Epic senses a form of bribery that Google wanted to prevent other developers from following the studio’s example and offering their apps via an alternative platform. Epic initially distributed the Android version of “Fortnite” successfully in 2018 via its website. This made the installation more complicated for users, but saved Epic in commission payments to Google.

Google Angst vor Epics Game Store?

It wasn’t until April 2020 that Epic brought Fortnite to the Google Play Store, where it disappeared again soon after due to the aforementioned attempt to sabotage Google’s sales model. In the lawsuit, Epic Games cites an internal report from Google’s finance department from 2019. In it, the company expressed concern that Epic might enter into agreements with smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung to preinstall its Epic Games Store on many devices. Android phones. Such a move, it has been said, may lead to popular game developers showing their apps on Epic’s sales platform in the future, as the company collects much lower commissions than Google. According to the report, the Play Store operator expected losses of up to 1.4 billion US dollars as a result of this development. In the event that the example of Epic sets a precedent, and alternative Android app stores, such as those of Samsung and Amazon, also speed up, Google even fears losses of up to 6 billion US dollars.

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Google sees its approach as “healthy competition”

In order to counter such a scenario, according to Epic’s lawsuit, Google is said to have launched “Project Hug”. The company has secret contracts with more than 20 major developers, including Activision Blizzard. The companies involved are said to have received payments amounting to several million US dollars just not to turn their backs on the Play Store. Compared to “The Verge,” Google confirmed that the company has been running programs for years in which it wants to convince app providers to sell their apps via the Google Play Store. Large and important companies in particular are given special benefits. Google does not see bribery in this approach, but rather a form of “healthy competition”. However, according to the report, Google did not provide a specific statement regarding Project Hug.

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