The Epic Games store offers an 88/12 revenue split for developers — 88% for the developer and 12% for Epic — on its platform. This stands in contrast to the 70/30 split used by Valve’s Steam and also by the Google Play Store. Since the company’s biggest title, Fortnite: Battle Royale, isn’t on Steam, Epic can’t really exert any direct pressure on Valve to change its ways, but Fortnite is on the Play Store, and Epic is doing what it can to change that platform’s revenue split.
As reported by the Verge, Google has rebuffed Epic’s wishes for a “special exception,” not only for its games but as “a general change to smartphone industry practices in this regard.” Epic believes that requiring apps to use Google’s store for in-app purchases “with a 30% fee is illegal in the case of a distribution platform with over 50% market share.” Epic concluded its statement to the Verge by re-iterating that it doesn’t require games on its platform to use its payment ecosystem for in-game purchases.
Unsurprisingly, Google disagrees with Epic’s stance. “Google Play has a business model and billing policy that allow us to invest in our platform and tools to help developers build successful businesses while keeping users safe,” a spokesperson for the company told the Verge.
In other legal news, Epic is coming under fire for yet another dance move that’s been appropriated in Fortnite: Battle Royale. This time, it’s the “Dancing Pumpkin Man,” a.k.a. Matt Geiler, whose pumpkin-masked impromptu dance seems to find its way around every social media corner of the world come Halloween time. As in the other cases, Geiler has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Epic, but what makes this case unusual is that he previously struck a deal with Epic Games to use the character and likeness in Fortnite. This has prompted Epic to file a complaint against Geiler, which includes not only Geiler’s own admission of an agreement with Epic but the standard defenses that the dance in Fortnite is totally different.
No matter how it all shakes out, one thing is for sure: Being an attorney for Epic Games means you’ll never wonder what to do with yourself every day.