Google Pays Epic Games $147 Million to Keep Fortnite Exclusive on Android

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Google Pays Epic Games $147 Million to Keep Fortnite Exclusive on Android
(Image: Epic)

While millions of players enjoy playing Fortnite for free, the shooter game proved to be worth a whopping $147 million to Google – or at least its availability on the Play Store for Android. This was confirmed by the internet giant in court, as reported by The Verge.

According to Purnima Kochikar, responsible for Play Store partnerships at Google, the company paid this sum as “incremental funding” to the Fortnite developer, Epic Games, over a period of three years. The goal was to prevent other providers of popular apps from following a similar path.

Epic initially released Fortnite for Android in 2018 but made it available only as an APK installation file via its website, bypassing the fees for in-app purchases imposed by the Play Store.

Epic seems not to be the only exception; since 2019, Google has been compensating providers of Android devices to refrain from preinstalling alternative app stores.

In 2021, court documents revealed that Google had considered even more drastic measures, contemplating the partial or complete acquisition of Epic.

Following prolonged criticism of the fees charged by Apple and Google for in-app purchases through their official app stores, Epic Games took both companies to court. In 2020, Epic violated the guidelines of both platforms by introducing its own payment system for Fortnite, leading to the removal of the game.

While a U.S. court ruled in the case against Apple in 2021, the legal battle with Google only commenced on November 6, 2023.

Both sides stand to gain or lose substantial amounts of money: Apple earned over $100 million from in-app purchases in Fortnite over a two-year period.

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Ronald Peart
As an AI and machine learning aficionado, Ronald Peart unravels the complexities of artificial intelligence, offering comprehensive insights and updates on the tech landscape.