As the Epic versus Apple court fighting continues, you'd be forgiven if you've forgotten that Epic has been making similar accusations against Google and its Google Play Store in jurisdictions around the world. The debates range from the same "70/30" type split that Epic if rallying against on Apple platforms to payment processing disputes... it's all pretty similar.
However, a new little wrinkle on the Epic versus Google front has been revealed due to some court filings becoming unredacted this past week. The crux of a new argument against Google sees Epic making the claim that Google's "Project Hug" is Google's way for working with other developers to keep competition to a minimum. The allegation goes on to specifically call out Activision as one beneficiary of Google's "hug".
Epic claims that Google paid Activision $360 million to NOT develop a competing mobile store when the Call of Duty titan was planning to do so. Further, Epic claims similar, albeit smaller, deals were made with companies like Riot Games (who we've reached out to for comment and will update if needed) and others, all in an effort to stave off any potential competing Android app stores. In Riot's case, the allegation from Epic focuses on Riot's alleged desire to make a League of Legends standalone mobile platform.
Activision's response? Replying to PC Gamer a spokesperson said, "Epic's allegations are nonsense. We can confirm that Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with Google Play—and we've already submitted documents and testimony that prove this."
For it's part, Google isn't denying the existence of "Project Hug," but they do claim the project is actually a means of providing better service and resources to fellow developers.
Both denials haven't stopped Epic Games' Tim Sweeney from taking the fight to Twitter, though.
We've been continually astonished by Google's brazen embrace of anticompetitive practices. From the secret "Fortnite Task Force" they created to attack Epic when we launched outside of Google Play, to the big-money deals they made with competitors to dissuade store competition. https://t.co/uODqd6lsWx
— Possibly Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) November 18, 2022
About the Author
Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.
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