Epic Games is fighting with all means against the dominant position of the big app stores. It has now been announced that, out of concern about possible consequences, Google has founded its own “Fortnite Task Force” to fend off attacks against the Play Store.
Panic at Google Is Evident
The history of the litigation between Google and Epic Games is long and heated. Now, according to a report from Bloomberg and Androidpolice, a court document provides a good look behind the scenes. Accordingly, concerns at Google about the impact on business with the Play Store were so great that a separate working group was commissioned to develop countermeasures.
The “Fortnite Task Force” from Google started shortly after Epic Games presented its own Android game store in 2018, thus creating an alternative point of contact for downloading Fortnite. The fact that the group got together for daily meetings clearly shows the importance of the internal dispute – after all, Play Store commissions of 30 percent for in-game purchases were at stake for the group.
As Epic Games explains in the legal documents, the group has, therefore, among other things, developed the tactic to focus on presenting the installation of the game outside the Play Store as a security risk. The serious allegation: For this reason, the company is said to have announced gaps in the alternative launcher from Epic Games after nine days, instead of the 90 days customary in the industry, although a corresponding update has already been delivered.
Not Protecting Users But Monopoly
“Instead, Google wanted to ‘get the word out quickly’ regardless of user safety,” said Epic Games. The company wants to “prevent developers from operating outside of Google Play and maintain the monopoly over the distribution of Android apps”.
Another internal document is intended to show that Google was not concerned with protecting its users. In an e-mail from the head of the Android security department that was presented to the court, the latter described the formulation chosen by his company regarding gaps in Epic Games’ alternative launcher as “inappropriately threatening”.
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