Google claims that Epic is mainly looking for “tremendous monetary gain and wealth”.
In the ongoing antitrust litigation that is currently going on between Epic Games and Google, the later has chosen to strike back. The countersuit filed by the latter is centred on the Project Liberty, and must be viewed after taking into consideration the other legal battle that the former is currently embroiled in, the most notable amongst them being the lawsuit against Apple.
The Project Liberty is a scheme that Epic had launched back in 2020, wherein the developer had very covertly added alternative payment options to iOS and Android versions of its popular game Fortnite. Following this, the company had sued both Apple and Google alongside launching a PR campaign directed towards getting the public’s opinion in its favour.
As per Epic, the platform holders were operating as monopolies. And according to the company, they should therefore be forced into allowing the developers to make use of their own payment methods within their apps.
The first judgement in the Epic vs Apple lawsuit came out and to say the least, it is complicated. Both sides are currently contesting the judgement where it had lost on all counts save for one. The resolution to this still is a long way off and the battle for both companies is far from over.
As for Google, the tech giant has a much stronger start to this battle than Apple. This is because it does not operate within such a closed system as the later, in the first place, to begin with. Neither the developers nor the Android users are forced to use the Play Store for the downloading of apps.
As per the lawyers representing Google, the company provides “app developers and smartphone consumers more openness and choice than any other major competitor”. According the countersuit that the company has filed against Epic, the company’s lawyers have filed the countersuit contesting a total of nine claims that have been made against them by the later.
Many of the points on the countersuit cross over with the defense that had been presented by Apple. Here to the alleged bad faith of Epic Games is put to the front and concerns the developer’s signing of the DDA before putting Fortnite on Google Play.
Google To Countersue Epic Games!
In its counter suit, the tech giant states “Not satisfied with those immense profits, it entered into a legal agreement with Google with which it never intended to comply, deceiving Google and concealing its true intentions to provoke a legal and public relations confrontation that continues to this day”.
The confrontation being referred to here is the Project Liberty. As per Google, Epic Games was primarily looking to challenge “the policies and practices of Apple and Google which are an impediment to Mr. Sweeney’s vision of an oncoming metaverse”. It also stated that Epic was looking for “a systematic change which would result in tremendous monetary gain and wealth”.
Taking the metaverse angle into consideration, a point that came up in the lawsuit against Apple as well, was that “internally, Epic also hoped to revive and reinvigorate Fortnite by pivoting its business whereby player-developers could create new content and Epic could share a majority of profit with those creators”. However, the extent of this, has not yet been revealed by Epic Games yet, and it still remains something to be speculated about, as of now.
As per Google, Epic was not only set on suing the company but also painting it as the villain in the entire ordeal. The countersuit states that “Epic sued Google on the same day that it launched its external payment system in violation of the DDA, immediately after Google removed Fortnite from Google Play. Epic also began a campaign to combat negative consumer reactions that Epic knew were coming because of its conduct”.
Google has demanded for a trial by a jury as well as rights for removal of Fortnite from its platform along with the termination of the developer account of Epic. In addition to that, the company has also demanded “compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and interest”. While the proceedings are yet to begin, it does not take much speculation to estimate the blow losing this suit might be for Epic Games.
While Google is using the core arguments that Apple too had used, the former is already in a way better and stronger position, considering the nature of the ecosystem that is prevalent in the Android. It however, still remains to be seen how it pans out for all the parties involved.
We post the latest updates and insights from the world of gaming. For the latest news, updates, rumours and insights from the video games industry, upcoming games, new releases, game recommendations and much more, do keep an eye out on our space!